Lt. Madeline Swegle is soaring to new heights in the U.S. Navy as she will soon become the service’s first Black female fighter pilot.
The US Navy’s first Black female tactical aircraft pilot, Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle, received her “wings of gold” on Friday, marking a historic milestone for naval aviation.
Swegle was named a naval aviator and awarded her gold naval aviator wings with 25 classmates during a small ceremony at Naval Air Station Kingsville in Texas, according to the Navy.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet,” Swegle said. “It would’ve been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it’s encouraging to other people.”
Recently, the Chief of Naval Air Training congratulated Swegle on Twitter for “completing the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus,” praising her with a “BZ,” meaning Bravo Zulu or well done.
“Swegle is the @USNavy’s first known Black female TACAIR pilot and will receive her Wings of Gold later this month. HOOYAH!” the tweet read.
Along with the message, the post included two pictures of Swegle wearing her pilot’s uniform.
In one of the images, Swegle smiles next to a T-45C Goshawk training aircraft and in another photo, she is seen exiting the plane after completing her undergraduate syllabus.
According to military newspaper Stars and Stripes, the Virginia native graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.
Swegle is currently assigned to the Redhawks of Training Squadron 21 in Kingsville, Texas, and will be awarded her wings of gold during a ceremony on July 31, according to the Navy.
Rear Adm. Paula D. Dunn, the Navy’s vice chief of information, also applauded Swegle on social media, writing that she is “very proud” of the graduate. “Go forth and kick butt,” she wrote.
Swegle’s sister shared the post on Twitter, writing, “Just my older sister being a boss everyday of her life.”
“Proud of her doesn’t even cover it,” her sibling added.
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