Capt. Rosemary Mariner died Jan. 24, 2018. (Courtesy of Mariner family)
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Navy Cmdr. Stacy "Stigs" Uttecht was 15 years old in April 1993 when the military said it would allow women to fly combat aircraft.
Until this week, Uttecht, commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 32, the Naval Air Station Oceana-based "Fighting Swordsmen," hadn't given much thought to yesterday's policies or women like Capt. Rosemary Mariner who fought for her ability to be there.
"I did not know who was behind it," Uttecht said. "I didn't know what women had been fighting for that."
Mariner, 65, died Jan. 24. A sort of unintentional pioneer whose many firsts helped lay a foundation for thousands of military women, she will be honored with the Navy's first all-female Missing Man flyover during a memorial service Saturday afternoon outside Maynardville, Tenn.
Military helicopter pilot Dominic Cipolla walks under the wing of an instruction plane at Coast Flight Training in San Diego, California, U.S., January 15, 2019. Picture taken January 15, 2019. (Reuters/Mike Blake)
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. Army pilot Shaun Perez spent ten hours flying an Apache helicopter over Afghanistan, providing gun cover for Special Forces soldiers on the ground as they hunted for high-value targets, guns and weapons.
Returning to his base at dawn, he donned a fresh uniform before shutting himself into a small room to secure the next stage of his career — as a commercial airline pilot.
He would win the job in a video interview that day in August 2017, joining hundreds of other U.S. military helicopter pilots who have taken attractive offers from domestic airlines trying ease a global pilot shortage.