Lt. j. g. Madeline Swegle, the Navy’s first Black female tactical jet pilot, will receive her “Wings of Gold” at the Naval Air Station Friday in Kingsville.
Swegle is a Virginia native who made history earlier this month when she became the first Black female fighter pilot.
HOUSTON DASH CELEBRATE CHAMPIONSHIP: A view from the Dash’s drive-thru championship celebration
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! @FlyNavy @NASKPAO #ForgedByTheSea #CNATRA #CNATRAgrads pic.twitter.com/FKSlURWQhJ
— Naval Air Training (@CNATRA) July 9, 2020
“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,” Swegle said in a video released by the Navy.
According to an ABC 13 article, Swegle will follow in the footsteps of Brenda E. Robinson, the first Black female naval aviator, who earned her wings in 1980.
“My parents raised me and they told me that I can be whatever I wanted to be. We would go see the Blue Angels when they were in town,” Swegle said in the video. “They were just so cool. I loved them. I love fast planes.”
Commanding Officer of Training Squadron Matthew Maher said in the video why Swegle is the best of the best.
“To show up here 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,” said Maher.
THE SKY IS THE LIMIT! Meet the @USNavy’s first Black female tactical jet pilot: Lt. j. g. Madeline Swegle. She and her classmates will receive their #WingsOfGold Friday. ⚓️🇺🇸
VIDEO: https://t.co/MbtnPV2dcD pic.twitter.com/y9xDol4XZ8
— Naval Air Training (@CNATRA) July 28, 2020
While Swegle is considered a pioneer for future generations of young girls dreaming of achieving a similar goal, it wasn’t always easy.
“Looking back it’s amazing to think about where I started and I had never been in an airplane before so, it’s just one step at a time. It’s really cool to think of all of the things that I’ve done now which I’d never thought that I’d be able to do.”
STAY INFORMED: Sign up to receive breaking news alerts delivered to your email here.