Madeline Swegle Becomes The First Black Female Fighter Pilot In The U.S. Navy

After 110 years of aviation, the United States Navy welcomes its first Black female tactical jet pilot.⁣

According to the U.S Navy, Lieutenant, Madeline Swegle, a native of Virginia, completed the rigorous undergraduate Tactical Air Strike pilot training on Tuesday. ⁣

The chief of naval air training tweeted out, “BZ to Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle on completing the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus. Swegle is the @USNavy’s first known Black female TACAIR pilot and will receive her Wings of Gold later this month. HOOYAH!”⁣

Lt. Swegle, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017, is certified for the TACAIR mission and is eligible to fly fighter jets such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G, or Growler.  ⁣

Lt. Swegle milestone comes as pilots have said the Navy’s aviation community needs more diversity. ⁣

In 2018, Military.com’s study revealed that Black pilots are rare in the service, particularly in fighter units, and according to the Pensacola News Journal, less than 7% of aviators were female pilots. ⁣

Currently assigned to the Redhawks of Training Squadron 21 in Kingsville, Texas, Lt. Swegle will receive her gold wings at a ceremony slated for July 31.

U.S. Navy

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