Blue Angels announce their first female demonstrative pilot
July 19, 2022

The famed Blue Angels have announced their selection of the first female demonstrative pilot in the squadron’s history.

The Navy’s flight demonstration squadron announced on Monday the names of the six new flight officers joining the team for the 2023 season. Lt. Amanda Lee will be the first woman to serve the squadron as a demonstrative pilot in 55 years.

The Blue Angels have had hundreds of women serve in their squadron in several capacities. Marine Corps Maj. Katie Higgins was their first female service member who flew for them, piloting a C-130 transport plane from 2014 to 2016.

In 2019 Higgins once pointed out that there is a very small pool of qualified female candidates for the Blue Angels demonstration squadron and that the pool dries up even more when you exclude those women who are not at an appropriate time in their career to apply.

In that same year, Lt. Lee participated in the first all-female funeral service flyover for Naval flight officer Capt. Rosemary Mariner (retired). Mariner was among the Navy’s first female jet pilots and the first female commander of an operational naval aviation squadron.

Lee said at the time of the flyover, “Captain Mariner really was the starting point of female aviation. She’s one of the first eight original female pilots allowed in the Naval pipeline… young kids growing up and not thinking whether they can do something or not because of their race, gender, ethnicity; they just go out and say, ‘This is what I want to do.’… It kind of all starts back with Captain Mariner and some of the doors that she broke down.”

Also in 2019, Lee said: “I wouldn’t say that there’s a gender bias but it’s really, you need a certain mental toughness to get through the program. So you really need that strong will to get through, to succeed.”

Recent News