The first-ever Black female TACAIR pilot in the US Navy has been given her wings. This is a very important moment in history, and Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Admiral Robert D. Westendorff announced the news on Twitter.
Westendorff wrote that Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle had completed the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus, and she’s the US Navy’s first known Black female TACAIR pilot. Swegle will receive her Wings of Gold later this month.
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
Thousands of people congratulated Swegle on her incredible achievement, including Rear Admiral Paula Dunn, the Navy’s Vice Chief of Information, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and more.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 11, 2020
Very proud of LTJG Swegle. Go forth and kick butt. https://t.co/Fmleo7Ajd3
— RDML Paula Dunn (@ViceCHINFO) July 9, 2020
Swegle is currently assigned to the Redhawks of Training Squadron (VT) 21 in Texas, and photos showing her final flight in the Tactical Air (Strike) program have recently made it to public.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday announced a task force last month that would look for ways “to identify and eliminate individual and systematic racism within the force”.
Among the thousands of people that praised and congratulated Swegle were athlete Billie Jean King, former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, comedian D.L. Hughley, Sen. Kamala Harris, and many more.