You go lady!!!

The Blue Angels have their first female F-18 demo pilot for the 2023-24 show season!

LT Amanda Lee! She is the second female pilot to join the team after Marine Major Katie Higgins, who flew Fat Albert back in 2016.

The famed Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, selected their first female F/A-18E/F demo pilot this year following the completion of the Pensacola Beach Air Show on July 9.

Navy Lt. Amanda Lee was named alongside five other officers as the newest members of the 2023 Show Season for the Blue Angels.

Full article, HERE.

Even better, from my point of view, she is a ‘Mustang’! She’s prior enlisted, having served four + years as an Aviation Electrician (that little red ribbon left on middle row)! It’s nice to see prior enlisted personnel getting the chance at the ‘good’ billets, unlike what happened to us back in the early 90s.

And she’s going to be flying #3, so she will be in the thick of every demonstration. Congratulations to her!


You go lady!!! — 26 Comments

  1. What could possibly go wrong with this die-versity pick? I recall a -14 driver in days gone by.

  2. Congrats to her.

    As long as she can do the flying and isn’t there because someone bent the specs for her so she could be a Blue Angels pilot.
    Sadly, there has been a lot of this in the attempt to “Diversify”, so one never knows if she earned it or was given it.
    Being Blue Angels, it is most likely, however, that she earned it.

  3. I didn’t know they had a ribbon to denote mustangs. That was a good idea.

    Jimin, so because she’s a woman, you assume that she’s not qualified? Please be so kind to explain the control of an airplane that can only be operated with a penis.

    • I think it is only the lesbians who lack experience with how to handle the stick.

    • She’ll always have to bear the burden of that suspicion….
      There is no such thing as “good” discrimination.

  4. CM, the ribbon is a Good Conduct medal. Four years of not screwing up while enlisted. Officers don’t get them because it’s just expected.

    I think B made the case better than Jimin. The fact that the headlines are all “First Woman…” rather than “New pilot…” keeps us from ever knowing whether they chose someone specifically so they could be the first. Scotus Justice Ketanji Brown was touted as “the first African American SC justice”. Never mind that Thomas had been on the court for twenty plus years. It’s the game they play. Hopefully they aren’t playing it here or we will be reading a tragic story which will be spun to ensure that no blame is placed on her.

    • My late father spent 25 years in the Royal Navy (ten years as a regular, fifteen in reserve). He got a good conduct medal which he characterised as “25 years undetected crime”.[grin]

  5. And her call sign is Stalin. (Would love to hear that story.) For the skeptics here? There is little doubt diversity politics played a part. However, this officer was qualified as a demo pilot at the FRS and has at least one cruise under her belt.

  6. All- The Blues don’t play those games. She got the slot based on her flying ability, not her sex. And she made it through the ‘training’ in California, so the other pilots believe she can do the mission. I put it up because she’s a mustang (ex-enlisted, and yes, the little red ribbon is a good conduct which is only given to enlisted). I’m always happy when a Mustang gets a good billet!!!

    • A former UPS (or Fedex?) worker; joined the Navy enlisted, college in spare time, worked hard, did well, and earned her spot. I think the best thing about her is her story; this is the American dream of hard work paying off. I do NOT like the call sign; I hope she is not a commie but usually you get a call sign you don’t like so who knows.

      Women have been in Naval Aviation for 50 years and they just now got an F/A-18 Blue Angel pilot, and someone thinks it is a diversity hire? I diversity hire would have had a ramp strike before she could apply for the Blues. No, she earned it. Good on her.

    • I you really believe that, I have a bridge to sell you, cheap.
      The entire military “plays those games”, by command direction, for some time now.
      The memos are matters of public record.

      And for starters, she’s only had to pass booster-step PFTs her entire career.

      Either way, even if she could/might have made it on merit, she’ll be correctly considered a Diversity Hire until proven otherwise, and suspect on that account, at least until she successfully completes this tour, if not in perpetuity.
      So she’d better not screw the pooch.

      Otherwise, they’ll be forced to build even taller booster steps for subsequent diversity hires.
      Because she’s Too X-Chromosome To Fail.
      Gravity be damned. Because it’s sexist.

      And when the stewardesses finally get combat time and air-to-air and air-to-mud kills, they’ll have the blood of countless future Amazon ground pounders to answer for, the overwhelming majority of whom never wanted to go.
      (On December 8th, 1941, the lines at recruiting centers all over the U.S. were around their respective blocks. No one has ever, not once, in their entire lifetime, seen women line up for military service, let alone combat, like that, nor will it ever happen.)

      When women have to pass a male PFT in every service just to get in, and can and do get drafted into the infantry right alongside men, in equal numbers, give a holler.
      Better yet, let me know when they make female Marines take on the men at pugil stick training, and televise the results.
      Until then, this tour is just another “Pvt. Benjamin/G.I.Jane” PIO dog-and-pony show infomercial for Stunning And Brave.
      Or, the other word for dog, when a female of the species is involved.

      *I* didn’t say that word out of courtesy, but 2000:1 odds a million guys in the military will, every single day, because the troops aren’t buying the b.s.
      In fact, the phrase will likely enter the lexicon, if it hasn’t already done so.

      As a decent human being, I wish her well, in spite of the misguided idiocy from which this nonsense springs.

      But it would be far better for the military, and the nation overall, if she augured in at her first practice, even if it wipes out the entire team, just to make the point – if only anyone intelligent and wise was paying attention.
      They’re all yelling “La! La! La! I can’t hear you!” with their fingers in their ears to the third knuckle joint.

      Instead, we’ll learn the lesson harshly, in combat, and rue the day.
      And there won’t be anything Stunning and Brave on that day.
      Just tragically predictable.

  7. Not just prior enlisted, but also aircraft maintenance. Plus in my book! Pity we will miss the Lakeland show this year. Health these days just isn’t going to allow it.

  8. Hello Dov and NFO,
    IMO the pool of post deployment CV qualified female F-18 pilots has got to be very small. There’s little doubt when her package came up she got a tad bit more scrutiny in order to check the diversity box. But, her record got her package past the initial screening board.
    Her call sign? My bet is she’s probably a bit assertive, which is not a bad thing in today’s USN.

    If she performs well? I hope she gets O-5 out of this because from my understanding she’s technically out of the zone.

    • Hello Jetcall,

      I am an old F/A-18 pilot; got out in the late 1990’s…….Stalin means ‘man of steel’ and you are probably right about the reason, but so many Navy officers are now socialist and communist, it is hard to tell. I was a cold warrior, and Stalin murdered more of his own people than Hitler……I would have given my life defending this country from such a government as the Soviets had (can you imagine giving someone the call sign ‘Hitler’?) Now Communism is cool, and the call sign Stalin is acceptable, and we may even be headed that way with our own government. Honestly, that worried me; other than that she is the perfect pick.

      • Hello Dov,
        Sad to hear the wardroom has gone to crap. But, post ’91 tailhook/Clinton Admin the decline seemed inevitable.
        I was deckplate scum from 80-00 with VF, Ship’s Company, HM, and VR tours.

  9. Hello Old NFO,
    She has 16 years in and is well past the normal zone for O-4 But? With an ultra-successful tour of three years? She might just make it.

    (Now, I’m just white hat scum from the deckplates, but I’m rootin’for her. Any female mustang with a callsign like that is probably a pretty good officer.)

  10. WSF- It is.

    Jet- She’s at 12 years commissioned, so she is just now coming in zone for LCDR. Prior service doesn’t count, only commissioned service for promotion gates.

    • Hello OldNFO,
      Please excuse my “durh” moment! (Especially because I knew that at one time.)

  11. I’d love to hear the story on how she got tagged ‘Stalin’. Maybe it was ‘Stall In’ and shortened????