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Lt. Gen Reynolds does this for me. For us, the number 1 pilot (also called the “Boss”) is in command but all decisions are made as a democracy amongst the team. “Being a woman in this organization is not always easy, so it helps to have somebody out there fighting for you and with you,” said Lt. General Reynolds. It was automatic on the team and much more familiar than in a normal squadron. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. The top position among best female fighter pilots are given to Lt. At the time Lt. Col. Mau flew the… I saw this in the Blue Angels quite often. Especially if you are a female. 1st Female Blue Angel Pilot, Leader, Motivational Speaker. “It was really intimidating but one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Higgins told The Baltimore Sun last year. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. Publication Team Microsoft’s Recent Acquisitions—What’s the Bold Strategy Behind their AI Investments? The Blue Angels has been retooling its culture and image since last year, when the Navy found that the commanding officer at the time fostered a workplace environment that condoned pornography and allowed sexual harassment. You have to work out a minimum five days a week and eat right in order to have the physical stamina to do what is required. CDR Butch Voris. We use cookies to improve our website experience. I was a very junior officer then but my crew and I took quick action and took out the enemy force. (AP Photo), second-oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world, one of the most exclusive jobs available to a Naval pilot, other women have been on the Blue Angels team. Share. Hopefully, she will get that fourth star in the future. CONTACT. Do you have information you want to share with HuffPost? They heard my voice and asked if I had been in Afghanistan as a pilot. Major Katie Higgins Cook became one of the few female Marine aviators to fly combat missions in Afghanistan in support of Operations Enduring Freedom. “I could say I had a goal to do it because of my dad, but until I did it I didn’t know. The Chief of Naval Air Training selects the "Boss," the Blue Angels Commanding Officer. A third-generation military aviator, it seems Major Cook was born to fly and to become a Marine. When we are conducting Close Air Support, we will usually fly from the right seat and fired from the left. The squadron had announced in July all six jet pilots would remain for their 75th anniversary season . U.S. Navy photo by Anne Owens/Released. I am very clear with my expectations and my Marines know there will be consequences for failing to meet these expectations. 2020 marks the team’s 50th year utilizing the C-130 as its lead logistics aircraft. … Contact Us They said they were pinned down in a firefight and by taking action on the enemy, my crew saved their lives. Women have served as “maintainers”—support staff—for the U.S. Navy’s precision flying team since 1969, and women pilots joined the Marine Corps ranks in the 1990s. The Navy’s Blue Angels are a tradition at the Marine Corps Beaufort Air Show in South Carolina and many other air shows. While on patrol in Afghanistan, an urgent call came in that a squad was in trouble and pinned down by the enemy. Services A member of the Blue Angels invited her to apply as a pilot for the elite aviation demonstration team. Cook also shares how she guides her team as a Commander, as well as some of the most important lessons she learned as a leader. Writers and Contributors This was really my first sense of reward from leadership and it came through experience. Whenever she saw girls and boys in the audience, she would tell them to pursue their dreams no matter what. It is fitting that Bold Business is covering women leaders in the Marine Corps this year to recognize and celebrate the many ways that women are positively rewriting the history of the Corps. “It just so happened that I was the first female to perform in a demo here, and if that is inspiring to people, if that's inspiring to little girls around the country, then I'm doing my job,” she said. Like all other military personnel, Blue Angel pilots receive their pay based partially on their pay grade, which ranges from O-1, ensign, to O-10, admiral, though most pilots are somewhere in between. While completing missions is paramount, a Marine Corps pilot’s role as a character model is just as important. Higgins was the first (and so far, only) female pilot for the second oldest aerobatic team in the world. Adding a woman to the flight roster of “one of the most elite outfits in U.S military aviation” is historically significant, said Robert Thomas, curator of Indiana’s National Military History Center. U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Not only dedication to the troops which is obvious but to the mission as well. This training simulates landing on an amphibious assault ship both at night and during the day. Even if the blame is on someone else in the unit, the leader is accountable. I am now in command of Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, NC. Like Major Katie Higgins Cook, she also has broken new ground during her career. LCDR Bob Clarke. Katie Higgins Cook: Some of the biggest challenges are peer to peer or cross-functional leadership, getting someone at your same level to get on the same page with you and motivate them to do the task at hand. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels on Monday announced new officers for the 2020 and 2021 air show seasons. Write for Us Nearly 130 sailors and Marines embody a select discipline and character to be selected to join the Navy’s flight demonstration squadron. My brother refers to his Senior Chief by his first name for the same reason. Governor of Indiana, presents a certificate declaring the Blue Angels as Honorary Hoosiers.jpg 3,168 × 2,112; 1.27 MB. Instagram Twitter Linkedin. Kesselring said recently. Not from a book. The Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron was formed in 1946 by the United States Navy. You can’t fly a plane sick, drunk, tired. Advertise But last weekend, she flew even higher when she became the first female pilot with the prestigious Blue Angels. Armed with qualities of a good leader such as passion and perseverance, she makes her mark in the military through a life of service. A total of 16 officers voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels. The road to becoming a military aviator is one filled with difficult challenges. You have to build trust and get them invested in our mission. For Part 1 of our two-part story, she discusses the challenges and opportunities she faced throughout her career in a male-dominated field. This will give you a more well-rounded product. “I saw the Blue Angels fly when I was a young kid,” Higgins, a third-generation military aviator, told CBS News. She flies Fat Albert, the team’s C-130 support aircraft, and she’s kind of awesome. “To get added to that group is extraordinary, seeing how far the military has come,” Thomas told The Baltimore Sun last year when Higgins’ addition to the team was initially announced. But last weekend was probably the best day of her life, when she successfully became a Blue Angels pilot. According to Cook, when she was in the cockpit, she wasn’t the ‘Lady Blue Angel’. LTJG Billy May. When they do things wrong, it usually involves a one-way conversation where I lay out how they let me and their fellow Marines down. We are a strategic asset for Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP). Blue Angels announce new pilots, officers for 2021 air show season The Blue Angels on Monday announced their official officer and pilot lineup for the 2021 air show season. All rights reserved. The Blue Angels have the swagger down. Publisher’s Note Katie Higgins was selected to pilot the Blue Angels' Lockheed Martin C-130T Hercules transport aircraft, making her the first female Blue Angels pilot. Navy Cmdr. That being said, I am totally dedicated to the sentiment that you praise in public and punish in private. I have abandoned yelling as a leadership tactic and if I ever do, it is such a rarity that they really take notice. ©2020 Verizon Media. So, I have definitely had to adjust my style. LTJG Hal Heagerty . “I was definitely inspired by that.”. Before a flight, you have to dedicate time to prepare by checking notice to airman (NOTAMs), weather, and inspecting your aircraft. When I lean over, I can no longer see the Heads Up Display (HUD) because I am smaller stature than the normal pilot. Her paternal grandfather served during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Although other women have been on the Blue Angels team, none have ever been in the cockpit during a Blue Angels air show until now. Cook put on the iconic blue flight suit, and she made history as the first female Blue Angels pilot. – Bold Insights About JC Penney. She proved that both men and women could be leaders in the military. The team celebrated another milestone in history in 2015, when Marine Capt. It took one deployment to really get my footing underneath me leadership-wise. It breaks down the divide between officers and enlisted and creates closer bonds between its team members. LT Mel Cassidy. Today is National Voter Registration Day! Colonel to do it is different. 1948 1946 1948. My brother is an Explosive Ordinance Disposal officer and he often deploys with SEAL Teams. Even though breaking gender barriers wasn’t originally part of Major Cook’s plans, her appointment as the first female Blue Angels pilot proved to be an important milestone in the military. "Little girls have told me that they didn't even know that ladies could fly aircraft, that women could be in the cockpit.". As a mid-grade officer, watching someone succeed that has a similar background to you and is a female achieve these amazing things. The unit is the second oldest formal aerobatic team (under the same name) in the world, after the French Patrouille de France formed in 1931. Cook was still a junior captain back then, but she decided to take on the challenge. Bold Leader Spotlight: Jack Dorsey, Founder and CEO of Twitter and... NASA Crashes Cassini Into Saturn To Save The Planet’s Moon, New Legislation to Protect Cats from Any Laboratory Research, EU Fines Google $2.7 Billion For Manipulating Search Results, A Dying Business Model? If something goes wrong, then you as the officer take the onus on yourself. During that time, Major Cook refused to take all the credit for breaking barriers. Another difference that was odd for me as a Marine Corps officer was that the Navy officers called their enlisted Sailors by their first name. Here’s how. Marine Corps aviator Capt. She is making major policy changes and setting the example of female Marines and women leaders around the world. I learned it over time and after that, it became my goal onward. When they do things well, I am their biggest champion and use them as an example to follow to their other Marines. We have a whole team of maintainers that assist us with our aircraft inspections, and our post-flight debriefs are up to two hours long. I sat down with them every day in Afghanistan and taught them basic math to help them get their ASVAB scores up so they could attain their dreams. Each year the team typically selects three tactical (fighter or fighter/attack) jet pilots, two support officers and one Marine Corps C-130 pilot to relieve departing members. In 2015, she shattered the glass ceiling and flew high as the first female pilot to perform with the Blue Angels team. She claimed that amazing women like the WAVES of WWII, LtCol Sarah Deal Burrow (first USMC Pilot), and the countless other women in support roles on the Blue Angels team helped carve a path for her. Higgins, who has flown over 400 flight hours in combat and almost 1,000 since she joined the Blue Angels last September, said her goals of being a pilot didn’t truly manifest until her second-class midshipman year at the Naval Academy when she flew her first non-commercial aircraft. Yes, it was the first time that a female pilot flew with the Blue Angels! Her dream came true in 2011, when she received her wings. Part of HuffPost Politics. The trouble is getting all these people and units focused on the same goal. I was dedicated to leaving a Marine better than before I met them. Katie Higgins may be the first female pilot of the Blue Angels, but she will tell you that she didn’t get there alone. Her father was an F-18 fighter pilot in the Navy. Commander Greg McWherter (Head of the Blue Angels) Lieutenant James Tomaszeski Lieutenant Robert Kurrle Jr Major Chris Collins USMC Lieutenant Commander Frank Weisser Lieutenant Ben … Katie Higgins Cook: From a Blue Angels perspective, the strict military chain of command is a bit different. A New Blue Angels Boss and Pilots The Blue Angels will have a new Boss for 2020-21 seasons. The Blues fly faster, lower, and closer than the average pilot. During her deployment there, she received an unexpected call. As per Ed Kopko’s book, “Project Bold Life: The Proven Formula for Taking on Challenges and Achieving Happiness and Success”, “Pursuing boldness in our lives demands seeking a higher level of excellence.” Without question, Higgins’ bold life is a direct result of her pursuit of personal excellence! US Navy 070707-N-2888Q-003 Lt. Cmdr. Col Christine Mau. Younger kids did not know a female could be a Blue Angel or Marine and I corrected those misperceptions. Dedication. “It’s absolutely humbling, and I’m honored to be here to represent the Navy and Marine Corps team,” Cmdr. In the end, If you are building a product to a certain demographic or age, you are missing out on all these other people of different background. This means being one of the first in and last out. Whenever she saw girls and boys in the audience, she would tell them to pursue their dreams no matter what. LT Maurice Wickendoll. 1947 1946 1946. It’s a significant move on integrating more women into combat ground forces. While Higgins, 27, isn't the first female squadron member — Navy Lt. Cmdr. But getting another Major or Lt. Baseline Ventures is Making Bold Moves in Venture Capital, Humility and Leadership—A Perfect Combination. It takes extraordinary skill and precision to command the skies all while mastering what is also required to be an officer. WALLOPS ISLAND, Va- The Blue Angels made their inaugural performance at the 8th annual air show in Ocean City on Saturday. The Blue Angels, a less formal name for the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, is the “second-oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world” and one of the most exclusive jobs available to a Naval pilot. The BOLD Wire delivers our latest global news, exclusive top stories, industry leading infographics, powerful interviews and bold opinions. She performed at airshows across the country, breaking sound and gender barriers. While it is similar to the life of a normal pilot it gets taken to the extreme. This month, Marine Katie Higgins piloted for the Blue Angels Aviation Team for the last time. In a strange twist, Captain Kuss’ fatal crash happened hours after the Blue Angels’ fellow pilots in the United States Air Force Thunderbirds suffered a crash of their own following the United States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony earlier that day. Her name is Katie Higgins, and she is inspirational! And she could fly planes just as well as her teammates did. — The U.S. Navy Blue Angels announced on Monday the departure of one popular jet pilot and the return of a former pilot for the 2021 air show season. The Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds both put on spectacular air shows, and recently have been doing joint city flyovers to … Expectations and my Marines know there will be consequences for failing to meet these expectations what is also required be. 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