By Senior Airman Naomi Griego
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
1 — Meet the women making Army Ranger history
(In honor of Women’s Equality Day, we want to first give a shout-out to these women and their recent accomplishments.)
After completing weeks of grueling physical training across woods, mountains and swamplands, two women have made history: They will be the first to graduate from the Army’s exhausting Ranger School.
2 — Esther Blake: First enlisted woman in the Air Force
Staff Sgt. Esther McGowin Blake has the distinction of being the “first woman in the Air Force.” She enlisted in the first minute of the first hour of the first day regular Air Force duty was authorized for women on July 8, 1948.
3 — 1st Air Force female pilot in combat reflects on career
An A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot, Lt. Col. Martha McSally is also the first female in the Air Force to serve as the commander of any combat aviation squadron, to include fighters and bombers.
4 — AF first female fighter pilot continues to break stereotypes
After Col. Jeannie Leavitt finished pilot training at the top of her class in 1992, she was given her first choice of aircraft, with a few restrictions. Her first choice, the F-15 Strike Eagle, wasn’t yet an option for female pilots.
“I was told you finished No. 1, but you cannot pick a fighter,” Leavitt said.
5 — Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger reflects on her career
The Air Force’s first female four-star general at Ohio’s largest military base said the Air Force has embraced the importance of gender diversity, but more work needs to be done. The 56-year-old outgoing general was part of the first class of female cadets to enter the Air Force Academy.
6 — M.I.T. professor is first woman chosen as Secretary of Air Force
President Clinton has said he will nominate an aeronautics professor as Secretary of the Air Force, a choice that would make her the first woman to head one of the military services.
The professor, Sheila E. Widnall, 54, is associate provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she is also professor of aeronautics and mathematics.
7 — First Female Thunderbird Pilot | U.S. Air Force
When Lt. Col. Nicole Malachowski applied to join the Air Force Thunderbirds, little did she know that there had never been a female Thunderbird pilot before. This story tells how she broke through the glass canopy to become the first.
8 — Air Force’s first female chief
In 1960, Chief Master Sgt. Grace Peterson became the first female chief master sergeant. She was not only the first female chief master sergeant; she was part of the original group of senior NCOs to be selected for the rank of E-9.
At the time of promotion, Peterson was the first sergeant of a 400-person Women in the Air Force (WAF) squadron at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey.
9 — Female firefighter up for challenges
Many people think of firefighters as burly men with the strength of the Incredible Hulk. One female here breaks that mold.
Staff Sgt. Suzanne Blundell, from the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron, is the only female firefighter at the base fire station. It is a job that sets her apart from her peers while she serves as a role model for women who want to take on jobs they do not normally tackle.
10 — Air Force’s first female boxer debuts
An airman here is not worried about the odds of her winning her first national bout in Augusta, Ga., June 18 to 21 — she has already beat the odds to become the first female on the Air Force boxing team.
Staff Sgt. Charmaine Carrington, a 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons-load crew chief, is eyeing the top spot in the competition with determination.