Nicole Malachowski « Back Next »

First Woman Thunderbird Fighter Pilot

“In combat there is no place for ego. It is a life and death situation and I’m not just talking about our squadron. It’s about those men and women with boots on the ground. We’re there to help them. When there’s an American on the radio calling for your help and you can hear bullets flying in the background, it becomes very serious and very personal. Our formation of airplanes is dedicated to one very clear mission.

“When you’re able to help, we land, look at each other and think, ‘Wow, I don’t even know who that guy or gal on the ground was that we helped today’…but talk about a fulfilling sense of mission! There’s tremendous job satisfaction in helping other people.”

(page 151)