Madeline Swegle, US Navy to award wings to first Black female tactical jet pilot.
Madeline Swegle is making history on Friday as the U.S. Navy’s first Black female tactical jet pilot to receive her Wings of Gold.
Lieutenant Junior Grade Madeline Swegle, will receive her Wings of Gold at Naval Air Station in Kingsville on Friday afternoon, signifying official completion of her training.
“I am really honored that I get to wear the wings and get to fly planes and call myself a pilot,” Swegle said in a feature video provided by the Navy.
Swegle, a Virgina native, was inspired to become a pilot after her parents took her to see the Blue Angels.
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“My parents raised me and told me I could be whatever I wanted to be,” Swegle said in the video. “I don’t remember specifically how old I was, but they were just so cool. I love them. I just love the fast planes.”
Swegle is the first Black woman to earn her Wings of Gold in the Navy’s 110 years of aviation.
Swegle said it wasn’t her goal to make Naval history, but believes the representation is “really important because we are a very diverse nation.”
Swegle said she hopes her legacy will encourage other women and minority women to come forward and follow their dreams.
“Be encouraged and know that they have all the tools they need to follow their dreams,” Swegle said.