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This woman is set to become US Navy's first known Black female fighter pilot

U.S. Navy service members are mostly white and male.
Lt Madeline Swegle
Lt. Madeline Swegle graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.U.S. Navy photo by Lt.j.g. Luke Redito/Released
/ Source: TODAY

Lt. Madeline Swegle is making history as she's set to become the first Black female fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy.

The chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) announced the news on Twitter on Thursday, giving Swegle a "BZ" or "Bravo Zulu" (meaning "well done") upon the completion of her training.

"BZ to Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle on completing the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus," read the tweet. "Swegle is the @USNavy's first known Black female TACAIR pilot and will receive her Wings of Gold later this month. HOOYAH!"

The Navy is dominated primarily by white males in the U.S., has a rigorous training program. Swegle, a native of Virginia, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017, according to the U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes. She completed the Tactical Air (Strike) pilot training syllabus and is currently assigned to the Redhawks of Training Squadron 21 at a naval air station Kingsville, Texas.

Lt. Swegle will receive her gold wings in a ceremony on July 31, said the Navy.

Lt Madeline Swegle
Lt Madeline Swegle is set to become the first Black female fighter pilot in US historyU.S. Navy photo by Anne Owens/Released

"We are incredibly proud to hear that one of our own, Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle ('17), will hit a milestone July 31, not just in her own personal career as an aviator but also for Naval Aviation, when she earns her Wings of Gold as the first African American female U.S. Navy tactical air (TACAIR) jet pilot," U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean S. Buck said in a statement to TODAY via email. "It is a significant achievement to qualify as a tactical jet pilot flying from our nation's carriers day and night, and her success serves as an inspiration for all who aspire to be naval aviators. Fly Navy!"

Swegle's achievement paves the way for her to fly aircrafts such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter or the EA-18G Growler.

"Very proud of LTJG Swegle," tweeted Rear Adm. Paula D. Dunn, the Navy’s vice chief of information, in response to the news. "Go forth and kick butt."

"Just my best friend making history," tweeted @paigealissa on Tuesday.

Lt. Swegle's sister tweeted her congratulations.

"Just my older sister being a boss everyday of her life," wrote @bookworm204. "Proud of her doesn't even cover it."

In 1974, Rosemary Mariner became the first woman in the Navy to fly tactical jets, reported Stars and Stripes. Mariner commanded an operational air squadron during Operation Desert Storm in 1990 and later became a lecturer and scholar at the the University of Tennessee. She died last January.

Brenda E. Robinson was the first Black female pilot in the Navy. She earned her wings in June 1980.

Lt. Swegle's accomplishment comes at a time when the Department of Defense has sought to address racial inequity and diversity amid Black Lives Matter protests around the country.