Tennessee senators introduce measure to honor Navy’s first female fighter pilot

Local News

Sens. Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn have introduced a resolution to honor Capt. Rosemary Mariner, the Navy’s first female fighter pilot. She recently passed away and was laid to rest in Maynardville, honored with the first-ever all-female piloted flyover in Navy history.

“Throughout her life, Captain Mariner broke barriers that paved the way for women to follow in her footsteps,” said Senator Blackburn. “She worked tirelessly for the equality of women in the military, leading the Women Military Aviators organization and working with members of Congress and a Defense Department advisory board to overturn laws and regulations barring women from combat. The all-female flyover was the perfect way to pay tribute to her service and sacrifice and remind people of the inspirational legacy she leaves for young Tennessee women who wish to join our military.”

“Captain Rosemary Mariner was one of the Navy’s first woman fighter pilots in 1974, at just 21 years old,” said Senator Alexander. “During the Gulf War, she became the first woman to command an aviation squadron, and she was instrumental in the repeal of combat exclusion restrictions on women. I’m grateful for her incredible life of service.”

Mariner lived in Tennessee for the last 20 years of her life, teaching military history military history at the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

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