Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Air Force's first female demo team commander was relieved after just 2 weeks
Capt. Zoe Kotnik, an F-16 Fighting Falcon demonstration pilot at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from her post Monday, Air Force officials confirmed to Military.com. The news was first reported by Air Force Times.
"Capt. Zoe Kotnik, former Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team pilot, was relieved from her position as commander of the Viper Demonstration Team by Col. Derek O'Malley, the 20th Fighter Wing commander, due to a loss of confidence in her ability to lead and command," wing spokeswoman Capt. Alanna Staver said in a statement.
In a separate post on Facebook, O'Malley noted Kotnik had made "mistakes."
"We have thousands of Airmen across our Air Force serving our country, and not one of them is perfect. As good people, like Capt. Kotnik, make mistakes, I want them to have the opportunity to learn from them without being under public scrutiny, and to continue to be a part of this great service," he said in the post.
O'Malley continued, "In these types of situations, I never forget that we're dealing with real human beings, that I care deeply about, and that we are charged to take care of. This will be a difficult time for Capt. Kotnik, but she's surrounded by wingmen that will help her every step of the way. It was exciting to have the first female demo team pilot here at Shaw, but I'm also just as excited about the many other females that are serving with great distinction across our Air Force."
Kotnik will no longer perform with the demo team "but will continue to serve in a non-supervisory role in the 20th Fighter Wing," Staver said.
Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, certified Kotnik to lead the team on Jan. 29.
Kotnik, whose call sign is SiS, was recently profiled by the Air Force as its first female single-ship tactical demonstration pilot.
The service even likened Kotnik to the upcoming superhero flick "Captain Marvel," in which actress Brie Larson plays an F-16 pilot.
Kotnik, of Poynette, Wisconsin, comes from an aviation-enthusiast family, according to Stars and Stripes.
Kotnik was the chief of training for the 55th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Shaw for three years before switching to the Viper team.
She flew missions in support of Operation Noble Eagle -- the air defense operation following the Sept. 11 attacks -- and has more than 1,000 flight hours in military aircraft, the Air Force said.
Maj. John "Rain" Waters, last season's Viper demo pilot, has resumed command in Kotnik's place, O'Malley said.
This article originally appeared on Military.com
More articles from Military.com:
bullets with 3 links"
Military veterans from throughout Northeast Florida came together Saturday morning to honor comrades in arms who were prisoners of war or missing in action, and remember their sacrifice.
After the plane landed, Pope Army Airfield was silent on Saturday.
A chaplain prayed and a family member sobbed.
Tarah McLaughlin's fingers traced her husband's flag-draped coffin before she pressed two fingers to her lips then pressed her fingers to the coffin.
The remains of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia, arrived back to Fort Bragg a week after he was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon, 21, of Joliet, Illinois, also was killed in the same incident.
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.