U.S. Navy’s first Black female fighter pilot to receive her wings

The U.S. Navy's first Black female tactical fighter pilot will officially receive her Wings of Gold.

Madeline Swegle theGrio.com
Madeline Swegle (Photo by: Anne Owens/U.S. Navy)

After becoming the U.S.Navy’s first Black woman fighter pilot, Lieutenant Madeline Swegle will receive her Wings Of Gold on Friday.

READ MORE: Madeline Swegle becomes U.S. Navy’s 1st Black female fighter pilot

theGrio reported the Virginia native is the Navy’s first Black female tactical fighter pilot after completing the extensive training earlier this month.

U.S. Navy Swegle thegrio.com
(Image via Naval Air Training Twitter @CNATRA)

“I don’t think the goal in my life is to necessarily be the first at anything. That was never something that I set out to do, it was just something I was interested in and I found out later,” says Swegle in a video interview provided to Airboyd.

She continues, “I am really honored that I get to wear the wings and get to fly planes and call myself a pilot.”

Swegle has impressed those around her.

“At this level, you need to be a top performer, and then you have to continue to perform while you’re here. These are the best pilots in the world that are trained here, the very best,” says CDR Matthew Maher, a commanding officer in the training squadron.

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According to CBS News, her landmark moment comes 40 years after Lt. Cmdr. Brenda E. Robinson became the first Black woman to earn Wings of Gold on June 6, 1980, at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. 

Robinson was inducted into the Women in Aviation Hall of Fame in 2016. Her career not only includes the aforementioned milestone, but she is also the first Black female certified for C-1A carrier onboard delivery carrier landings on USS America and among the first Black women pilots at American Airlines where she flew for 17 years, according to the WIA bio.

Swegle’s accomplishment earned her a congratulatory tweet from Senator Kamala Harris.

Her graduation ceremony where she receives the Wings of Gold takes place at the Naval Air Station in Kingsville, Texas.

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