by Capt. Jennifer Richard
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
3/18/2014 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- In
the 67-year history of the Air Force, women have achieved countless
milestones, from breaking the sound barrier, entering the Air Force
Academy, operating forward deployed in combat roles, to reaching the
ranks of Chief Master Sgt. and General.
The women who broke many of these barriers share a common history--a
membership in Air Education and Training Command, a command comprised of
Air University and the former Air Training Command.
AETC today is known as the "first command," since it is the first
command to touch the lives of almost every Airman. For female Airmen
throughout history, AETC (or ATC and AU) often served as the command
through which they achieved several "firsts" for women.
Following are just a few examples of trail-blazing Air Force women and their experiences as part of AETC:
Esther Blake - First woman to enlist in the Air Force (1948)
Blake enlisted on the first minute of the first day regular Air Force
duty was authorized for women, representing the many women who served
continuously during the transition from the Army Air Forces to the Air
Force. In October 1948, Lackland AFB began basic training for the newly
authorized Women in the Air Force.
Jane Leslie Holly - First female commissioned through AF Reserve Officer Training Corps program (1971)
Holly graduated from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. Auburn University
was one of four universities selected as initial test programs for
commissioning women through Air Force ROTC.
First female Basic Military Training Instructors (1975)
Three female instructors participated in a test program to serve as BMT instructors at Lackland AFB.
Joan Olsen - First female U.S. Air Force Academy cadet (1976)
Olsen was the first female admitted into the Air Force Academy, making
the Air Force the first of the three service branches to admit women
into its academy.
First female class of Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training trainees (1977)
Ten women became members of the first group of female undergraduate
pilot students, completing Phase II T-37 training and then beginning
Phase III, flying the supersonic T-38 Talon.
Capt. Jacqueline Parker - First female to graduate from Test Pilot School (1989)
Parker completed Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, Calif., becoming the
first female graduate. She also became the first female F-16 pilot in
the Air National Guard in 1994.
Lt. Jeannie Flynn - First female selected for combat pilot training (1994)
Flynn was the first mission-qualified female fighter pilot after she
successfully completed training in the F-15 Eagle. Flynn was also the
first female fighter pilot to graduate from the USAF Fighter Weapons
School at Nellis AFB, Nev.
Col. Teresa Peterson - First active duty woman to command an operational flying wing (1998)
Peterson served as commander of the 14th Flying Training Wing at
Columbus AFB, Miss., from July 1998 to June 2000. Peterson later
commanded the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire AFB, N.J.
Capt. Jammie Jamieson - First combat-ready female F-22 fighter pilot (2008)
Jamieson completed the F-22A Transition Qualification Course at Tyndall in April 2008 after three years of flying the F-15C.