After nearly 110 years, the US Navy welcomes first black female tactical jet pilot

Congratulations Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle!


Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle is a young African American woman who has made history earlier this year when she became the first black female tactical aircraft pilot in the US Navy.

After completing her tactical air training programme, Swegle got her Wings of Gold in July 2020 and can now fly fighter jets such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter or the EA-18G Growler, according to the Navy Times.

The Chief of Naval Air Training took to Facebook to congratulate Swegle for becoming part of the U.S. Navy as the first black female pilot after 110 years. “BZ to Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle on completing the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus,” he wrote. BZ stands for Bravo Zulu, which means “well done.”

Except for the members of the Navy, congratulations for Swegle were in order from a lot of other people among which Sen. Elizabeth Warren and tennis legend Billie Jean King.

Swegle got on the list of women who made a change and were pioneers many are proud of, like Rosemary Mariner, who became the first woman in the Navy to fly a tactical jet in 1974, and Brenda Robinson, who was the first African American woman to earn her wings of gold and become a Navy flight instructor, evaluator and VIP transport pilot, during the 1980s.

Throughout the years, the U.S. Navy has often been criticized for the little number of black pilots. That led for them to create a special task force called “Task Force One Navy” which addresses issues of “racism, sexism and other destructive biases and their impact on naval readiness.”

We are glad Swegle’s wish of becoming a tactical jet pilot came true and we wish her a successful career.