Aviation for Girls

2017

Aviation for Girls is a special annual member publication of Women in Aviation International for Girls in Aviation Day. Articles feature young girls living their aviation dreams, career ideas, and education resources.

Issue link: https://afgdigital.epubxp.com/i/867269

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I'll never forget it. The day I knew I wanted to be a pilot. I remember it like it was yesterday. Since the age of 4, I'd wanted to be a police officer who rode a horse downtown. Always in search for the strategic advantage, I joined the military. Why? I thought it could help me get into a police academy, excel, maybe even learn to protect myself on the streets. Between my junior and senior years of high school, I headed off to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for six weeks of hardcore Army leader- ship training! Since I wanted to be a police officer, I was looking for any military occupational specialty (MOS) that would help me prepare for my future career. I wanted to do anything where you could shoot a gun or make something explode! I was assigned to a "battle buddy," who was on a guaranteed aviation contract, so she knew she was going to be a pilot. So, I dragged her to all the different career stations like Sniper Platoon, Spe- cial Forces, and Green Berets—all the things wom- en were not allowed to do because of the combat exclusion laws! After exhaustively searching for my choice, my battle buddy said, "Armour, can we please go to the aviation tent now?!" I was not inter- ested in anything regarding aviation, but grudging- ly (and to be a good buddy), I entered the aviation tent with her. And when I walked in, there she was: a black woman in a f light suit! I was absolutely mesmer- ized by that vision. It blew my mind! These days I call experiences like that "the tangibility of the possibility," meaning I could touch her, talk to her, ask her questions—and entertain the idea of being like her! It was absolutely amazing. That was it. The day I knew. And because of those five minutes on a hot summer day back in 1994, I am sharing this very moment with you. I am standing on the shoulders of all the women who came before me, and it's my job to keep contrib- uting to the legacy for the next generation—your generation. Seeing women in flight suits, on the A successful career in the aviation industry takes hard work, commitment, and gutsy perseverance! by Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour STAY GUTSY! Did you know? Lt. Col. Nicole Malachowski is the first female Thunderbird pilot for the U.S. Air Force, and her aviator call sign is "Fifi." Photo: Paula Grubb 2 0 17 12

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