Tech Sgt. Courtney, her last name has been withheld for national security reasons, today became the first enlisted female pilot in the 70 year history of the U.S. Air Force, when she received her wings at Randolph Air Force Base, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
For all of the history of the Air Force, and in the days of the Army Air Corps during World Was Two, pilots have been officers, on the theory that they are the commander of their airplane.
But the Air Force began bending the rules last year. and earlier this year graduated the first class of 'Flying Sergeants' at pilot training at the 12th Flying Training Wing.
Tech Sgt. Courtney is now scheduled to transfer to Air Combat Command at Beale AFB in California, for training on the RQ-4 Global Hawk, the Air Force's quarter billion dollar surveillance and reconaissance drone.