Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle has made history by becoming the U.S. Navy’s first Black female tactical fighter pilot.
The Chief of Naval Air Training congratulated Swegle on completing her training on Facebook Thursday and said she will receive her “Wings of Gold” later this month.
Swegle also earned praise from Rear Adm. Paula Dunn, the Navy’s vice chief of information, Sen. Elizabeth Warrenand tennis legend Billie Jean King.
“BZ to Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle on completing the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus,” the post read, using the abbreviation for Bravo Zulu, which means “well done.”
“Very proud of LTJG Swegle,” Dunn tweeted. “Go forth and kick butt.”
MAKING HISTORY! https://t.co/jKJONHvL7S
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) July 9, 2020
Swegle graduated the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017 and is now assigned to the Redhawks of Training Squadron (VT) 21 at Naval Air Station Kingsville in Texas, according to the Navy Times.
The news of Swegle’s achievement came the same day a female soldier graduated from the Army’s elite Special Forces course, becoming the first woman to join a Green Beret team.
Her historic milestone comes more than 45 years after Rosemary Mariner became the first woman to fly a tactical fighter jet in 1974, the Associated Press reported. It wasn’t until the 1980s that Brenda Robinson became the first African American woman to earn her wings of gold and become a Navy flight instructor, evaluator and VIP transport pilot, according to Women in Aviation International.