I have abandoned yelling as a leadership tactic and if I ever do, it is such a rarity that they really take notice. Navy Cmdr. I saw this in the Blue Angels quite often. “I saw the Blue Angels fly when I was a young kid,” Higgins, a third-generation military aviator, told CBS News. Katie Higgins joined the team in 2015, becoming the first female Blue Angels pilot. I am very clear with my expectations and my Marines know there will be consequences for failing to meet these expectations. (AP Photo), second-oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world, one of the most exclusive jobs available to a Naval pilot, other women have been on the Blue Angels team. She performed at airshows across the country, breaking sound and gender barriers. Lt. General Reynolds a  Bold Leader Spotlight recipient recently spoke about how the barriers have gone away. By THC Staff | November 18, 2016. At least for me, my leadership style is much more motherly than the average Marine Corps officer. “There have been women who paved this path,” she said. In a strange twist, Captain Kuss’ fatal crash happened hours after the Blue Angels’ fellow pilots in the United States Air Force Thunderbirds suffered a crash of their own following the United States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony earlier that day. And she could fly planes just as well as her teammates did. Bold Business is a proud part of Bold Business Group, an integrated publications, media, technology, solutions, advisory and investment group. I am now in command of Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, NC. It is easy to say Lance Corporal do this task because they are trained to do that. US Navy 070707-N-2888Q-003 Lt. Cmdr. This was very weird to me at first as it was a far departure from every other USMC unit I had previously been in. She proved that both men and women could be leaders in the military. In the Blue Angels, you take these same sentiments but apply them to the extreme. “To get added to that group is extraordinary, seeing how far the military has come,” Thomas told The Baltimore Sun last year when Higgins’ addition to the team was initially announced. The Navy’s Blue Angels are a tradition at the Marine Corps Beaufort Air Show in South Carolina and many other air shows. The C-130 is a dual cockpit as it is a two-pilot aircraft. Instead, she was just another pilot. But last weekend, she flew even higher when she became the first female pilot with the prestigious Blue Angels. My brother is an Explosive Ordinance Disposal officer and he often deploys with SEAL Teams. Adding a woman to the flight roster of “one of the most elite outfits in U.S military aviation” is historically significant, said Robert Thomas, curator of Indiana’s National Military History Center. Services Whenever she saw girls and boys in the audience, she would tell them to pursue their dreams no matter what. LT Chuck Knight. It was a really cool experience.”. Marine Corps aviator Capt. Katie Higgins Cook: From a Blue Angels perspective, the strict military chain of command is a bit different. You can’t fly a plane sick, drunk, tired. This is atypical of the normal flight for the plane where the pilot flying is usually in the left seat. It takes extraordinary skill and precision to command the skies all while mastering what is also required to be an officer. If they are doing a field exercise, a conditioning hike, any other difficult task, their leaders need to be there with them. I didn’t develop my leadership style until after I left the Naval Academy. By closing this banner or continuing to use BoldBusiness.com, you agree to our practices. Not from a book. Advertise I had two enlisted troops under me that wanted to transfer to a different Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). That is really built from showing you will stand up for your troops. She will also discuss her leadership perspectives. Higgins told CBS News she didn’t join the team with the idea of breaking barriers in mind. Instagram Twitter Linkedin. Before a flight, you have to dedicate time to prepare by checking notice to airman (NOTAMs), weather, and inspecting your aircraft. Katie Higgins’ dream as a little girl was to follow in her family’s footsteps and become a pilot. LT Al Taddeo. While much different from other units, it created a more intimate connection between the officers and enlisted in a shorter timeline with just this small act. The team celebrated another milestone in history in 2015, when Marine Capt. Armed with qualities of a good leader such as passion and perseverance, she makes her mark in the military through a life of service. Commander Greg McWherter (Head of the Blue Angels) Lieutenant James Tomaszeski Lieutenant Robert Kurrle Jr Major Chris Collins USMC Lieutenant Commander Frank Weisser Lieutenant Ben … Colonel to do it is different. When they do things wrong, it usually involves a one-way conversation where I lay out how they let me and their fellow Marines down. LTJG William May. LT Mel Cassidy. – Bold Insights About JC Penney. LTJG Ross Robinson. When they do things well, I am their biggest champion and use them as an example to follow to their other Marines. So, I have definitely had to adjust my style. Cook put on the iconic blue flight suit, and she made history as the first female Blue Angels pilot. That being said, I am totally dedicated to the sentiment that you praise in public and punish in private. LTJG Gale Stouse. Like all other military personnel, Blue Angel pilots receive their pay based partially on their pay grade, which ranges from O-1, ensign, to O-10, admiral, though most pilots are somewhere in between. A pilot in one of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels jets died in a crash Thursday in Tennessee. I learned it over time and after that, it became my goal onward. Write for Us Tom Winkler, a Blue Angels pilot, autographs a ballcap for a young fan following a performance at the Thunder Over Michigan Air Show.jpg 1,280 × 960; 477 KB. As a mid-grade officer, watching someone succeed that has a similar background to you and is a female achieve these amazing things. List of Current Pilots Arranged by the number on the jet they fly. When I am sitting in the right seat, I have to lean over to my left when utilizing the autopilot turn knob because it is not located exactly on centerline in the aircraft. U.S. Navy photo by Anne Owens/Released. You have to build trust and get them invested in our mission. US Navy 070823-N-3271W-001 The Honorable Becky Skillman, Lt. Whenever she saw girls and boys in the audience, she would tell them to pursue their dreams no matter what. Three new F/A-18 Hornet pilots along with several new support officers and enlisted men and women will begin a two to three year tour with the Blue Angels. For us, the number 1 pilot (also called the “Boss”) is in command but all decisions are made as a democracy amongst the team. On my second deployment, I was at a local bar and someone approached me. She flies Fat Albert, the team’s C-130 support aircraft, and she’s kind of awesome. We hate spam too, we'll never share your email address . Today is National Voter Registration Day! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. Elite Blue Angels Squadron Gets Its First Female Pilot, In this undated illustration Nancy Morgan Hart, an American colonist living in Georgia defends her home and children against invading British soldiers during the American Revolutionary War. LT Bob Thelen. Here’s how. I had the opportunity to interview Major Katie Higgins Cook. This month, Marine Katie Higgins piloted for the Blue Angels Aviation Team for the last time. Here's everything that happened Higgins, who flew Fat Albert from 2014 to 2016, said the pool of female pilots qualified to apply for the Blue Angels fighter jet demonstration squadron is … CONTACT. Brian Kesselring will take charge as the new Blue Angel 1 pilot and commanding officer. LT Ray Hawkins. Katie Higgins Cook: The Marine Corps is only 6% female. A member of the Blue Angels invited her to apply as a pilot for the elite aviation demonstration team. Privacy Policy 1946 1946 1946. This will give you a more well-rounded product. But last weekend, she flew even higher when she became the first female pilot with the prestigious Blue Angels. … Governor of Indiana, presents a certificate declaring the Blue Angels as Honorary Hoosiers.jpg 3,168 × 2,112; 1.27 MB. 1948 1946 1948. According to her Navy bio, Mariner "was one of six female aviators to earn wings in 1974, and became one of the first female Navy jet pilots, flying the A-4C and the A-7E Corsair II." A total of 16 officers voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels. Katie Higgins was selected to pilot the Blue Angels' Lockheed Martin C-130T Hercules transport aircraft, making her the first female Blue Angels pilot. “Being a woman in this organization is not always easy, so it helps to have somebody out there fighting for you and with you,” said Lt. General Reynolds. But getting another Major or Lt. The relationship between an officer and enlisted is much closer in this community than in other communities. Not only dedication to the troops which is obvious but to the mission as well. If I yelled and screamed every time someone did something wrong, I would be labeled a crazy person. Katie Higgins Cook: The biggest thing about being a pilot is the focus on safety in every aspect of your life. Katie Higgins Cook: Some of the biggest challenges are peer to peer or cross-functional leadership, getting someone at your same level to get on the same page with you and motivate them to do the task at hand. The top position among best female fighter pilots are given to Lt. At the time Lt. Col. Mau flew the… While it is similar to the life of a normal pilot it gets taken to the extreme. Her dream came true in 2011, when she received her wings. Dedication. Publisher’s Note Nearly 130 sailors and Marines embody a select discipline and character to be selected to join the Navy’s flight demonstration squadron. As a result of this strategic importance, MCALF Bogue has several entities that are involved with its overall success. Like Major Katie Higgins Cook, she also has broken new ground during her career. Writers and Contributors Katie Higgins Cook: I would say trust, absolutely. This is a small example, but perhaps if you had a woman on the design team building the aircraft, maybe it would have been tailored differently to meet the diverse needs. Microsoft’s Recent Acquisitions—What’s the Bold Strategy Behind their AI Investments? The U.S. Navy Blue Angels on Monday announced new officers for the 2020 and 2021 air show seasons. You have to work out a minimum five days a week and eat right in order to have the physical stamina to do what is required. Especially if you are a female. Maj. Katie (Higgins) Cook and the Marine C-130 affectionately known as Fat Albert. I was dedicated to leaving a Marine better than before I met them. In the end, If you are building a product to a certain demographic or age, you are missing out on all these other people of different background. This was really my first sense of reward from leadership and it came through experience. It’s a significant move on integrating more women into combat ground forces. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! When I lean over, I can no longer see the Heads Up Display (HUD) because I am smaller stature than the normal pilot. My brother refers to his Senior Chief by his first name for the same reason. Do you have information you want to share with HuffPost? Katie Higgins Cook: I think the civilian world, depending on the sector, you are either directly or indirectly selling a product or service. Earlier this year, the centennial of women serving United States Marine Corps was celebrated. “It just so happened that I was the first female to perform in a demo here, and if that is inspiring to people, if that's inspiring to little girls around the country, then I'm doing my job,” she said. A third-generation military aviator, it seems Major Cook was born to fly and to become a Marine. The Chief of Naval Air Training selects the "Boss," the Blue Angels Commanding Officer. LTJG Billy May. Katie Higgins Cook: I have never met her but my current Commanding Officer has and goes on and on about how she is an amazing leader. During her deployment there, she received an unexpected call. Terms of Use. U.S. Marine Corps Capt. And if you've pictured a woman, you'd have been wrong, but not for long. This training simulates landing on an amphibious assault ship both at night and during the day. CDR Butch Voris. It was automatic on the team and much more familiar than in a normal squadron. This particular 2015 show though, which took place earlier this month, was a historical milestone. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. She is making major policy changes and setting the example of female Marines and women leaders around the world. The Blue Angels, a less formal name for the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, is the “second-oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world” and one of the most exclusive jobs available to a Naval pilot. The Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron was formed in 1946 by the United States Navy. Katie Higgins may be the first female pilot of the Blue Angels, but she will tell you that she didn’t get there alone. Hopefully, she will get that fourth star in the future. The road to becoming a military aviator is one filled with difficult challenges. But last weekend was probably the best day of her life, when she successfully became a Blue Angels pilot. Even after you fly, you have to take the time to debrief so you correct any mistakes you might have made. Contact Us ©2020 Verizon Media. While Higgins, 27, isn't the first female squadron member — Navy Lt. Cmdr. This results in your products not being tailored to any one type of person. Even though breaking gender barriers wasn’t originally part of Major Cook’s plans, her appointment as the first female Blue Angels pilot proved to be an important milestone in the military. Share. We use cookies to improve our website experience. LTJG Hal Heagerty . — The U.S. Navy Blue Angels announced on Monday the departure of one popular jet pilot and the return of a former pilot for the 2021 air show season. 1st Female Blue Angel Pilot, Leader, Motivational Speaker. As cool as photos are, there’s nothing like being in the cockpit. If that doesn’t sound important to you – She also is the first female Blue Angels pilot! According to Cook, when she was in the cockpit, she wasn’t the ‘Lady Blue Angel’. According to legend, Hart captured and killed British soldiers during the war. “It was really intimidating but one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Higgins told The Baltimore Sun last year. Another difference that was odd for me as a Marine Corps officer was that the Navy officers called their enlisted Sailors by their first name. The Blue Angels' Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets (numbered 1–6) are currently flown by five Navy demonstration pilots and one Marine Corps demonstration pilot. LCDR Dusty Rhodes. Her dream came true in 2011, when she received her wings. Although other women have been on the Blue Angels team, none have ever been in the cockpit during a Blue Angels air show until now. Her father was an F-18 fighter pilot in the Navy. Major Katie Higgins Cook of the U.S. Marine Corps knows just what it’s like. The Blues fly faster, lower, and closer than the average pilot. 2020 marks the team’s 50th year utilizing the C-130 as its lead logistics aircraft. Obviously, you can and should correct this deficiency in private with the at-fault individual, but ultimately the responsibility is on you. They heard my voice and asked if I had been in Afghanistan as a pilot. Becoming the First Female Blue Angels Pilot Cook put on the iconic blue flight suit, and she made history as the first female Blue Angels pilot. When we are conducting Close Air Support, we will usually fly from the right seat and fired from the left. While on patrol in Afghanistan, an urgent call came in that a squad was in trouble and pinned down by the enemy. She commanded Marines at Parris Island, led the Marine Corps Cyber Command, and now is breaking a glass ceiling that we have not seen consistently in the Marine Corps. She claimed that amazing women like the WAVES of WWII, LtCol Sarah Deal Burrow (first USMC Pilot), and the countless other women in support roles on the Blue Angels team helped carve a path for her. The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, C-130 pilots and crew arrive at Naval Air Station Pensacola with the team’s new C-130J Super Hercules, alongside the Blue Angel delta formation. Lt. Gen Reynolds does this for me. Now, she continues to lead and inspire Marines (firefighters, fuelers, and airfield maintainers) as commander of Airfield Operations Company, Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 at Marine Corps Axillary Landing Field Bogue, North Carolina. You have to eat right, be healthy, have time management, and have an attention to detail. First Female Blue Angels Pilot Retires. The unit is the second oldest formal aerobatic team (under the same name) in the world, after the French Patrouille de France formed in 1931. For Part 1 of our two-part story, she discusses the challenges and opportunities she faced throughout her career in a male-dominated field. During that time, Major Cook refused to take all the credit for breaking barriers. Each year the team typically selects three tactical (fighter or fighter/attack) jet pilots, two support officers and one Marine Corps C-130 pilot to relieve departing members. Katie Higgins Cook: Yes. Her paternal grandfather served during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Women have served as “maintainers”—support staff—for the U.S. Navy’s precision flying team since 1969, and women pilots joined the Marine Corps ranks in the 1990s. Blue Angels' Katie Higgins Will Be The Squadron's First-Ever Female Performer If you've ever watched a Blue Angels demonstration, you've probably wondered who on earth was flying those jets. Cook also shares how she guides her team as a Commander, as well as some of the most important lessons she learned as a leader. While completing missions is paramount, a Marine Corps pilot’s role as a character model is just as important. I was a very junior officer then but my crew and I took quick action and took out the enemy force. Kesselring said recently. The Blue Angels has been retooling its culture and image since last year, when the Navy found that the commanding officer at the time fostered a workplace environment that condoned pornography and allowed sexual harassment. It is fitting that Bold Business is covering women leaders in the Marine Corps this year to recognize and celebrate the many ways that women are positively rewriting the history of the Corps. “This is an opportunity that you can make your voice matter.”. For more infomation, review our, Leadership Lessons from Major Katie Higgins Cook, the First Female Blue Angels Pilot – Part One, “Project Bold Life: The Proven Formula for Taking on Challenges and Achieving Happiness and Success”. 2020 is the team's 74th anniversary and marks the Blue Angels' 34th year flying the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet. Blue Angels Pilots & Teams. In the hangar where the jets were being prepped, pilots who looked like statues to masculinity carved … The Blue Angels have the swagger down. We have a whole team of maintainers that assist us with our aircraft inspections, and our post-flight debriefs are up to two hours long. I have actually had some Marines call me “mom” by accident. I confirmed that it was in fact me. If something goes wrong, then you as the officer take the onus on yourself. Baseline Ventures is Making Bold Moves in Venture Capital, Humility and Leadership—A Perfect Combination. Yelling is not productive or comprehended by people. Cook was still a junior captain back then, but she decided to take on the challenge. Subscribe for Hill Country news, events and more! It shows you this path is possible. Col Christine Mau. The BOLD Wire delivers our latest global news, exclusive top stories, industry leading infographics, powerful interviews and bold opinions. Major Katie Higgins Cook became one of the few female Marine aviators to fly combat missions in Afghanistan in support of Operations Enduring Freedom. Throughout the Marine Corps’ history, women have served with pride, honor, and distinction in defense of America’s freedom. Part of HuffPost Politics. LCDR Bob Clarke. They said they were pinned down in a firefight and by taking action on the enemy, my crew saved their lives. The squadron had announced in July all six jet pilots would remain for their 75th anniversary season . All rights reserved. I sat down with them every day in Afghanistan and taught them basic math to help them get their ASVAB scores up so they could attain their dreams. Invite Katie To Speak At Your Next Event. Bold Leader Spotlight: Jack Dorsey, Founder and CEO of Twitter and... NASA Crashes Cassini Into Saturn To Save The Planet’s Moon, New Legislation to Protect Cats from Any Laboratory Research, EU Fines Google $2.7 Billion For Manipulating Search Results, A Dying Business Model? You have something that someone has hired you to do. This means being one of the first in and last out. 8 LT Al Taddeo. Katie Higgins’ dream as a little girl was to follow in her family’s footsteps and become a pilot. In Part two of this story, Major Katie Higgins Cook will share her views on harassment as well as diversity and inclusion. Publication Team It also helps you also look professional in the Blue Suit when you are out representing your country. LT H C … U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Higgins was the first (and so far, only) female pilot for the second oldest aerobatic team in the world. After that, Cook was assigned to Uganda in support of contingency operations in Africa. In 2015, she shattered the glass ceiling and flew high as the first female pilot to perform with the Blue Angels team. Blue Angels announce new pilots, officers for 2021 air show season The Blue Angels on Monday announced their official officer and pilot lineup for the 2021 air show season. A New Blue Angels Boss and Pilots The Blue Angels will have a new Boss for 2020-21 seasons. “I was definitely inspired by that.”. Yes, it was the first time that a female pilot flew with the Blue Angels! It took one deployment to really get my footing underneath me leadership-wise. “I could say I had a goal to do it because of my dad, but until I did it I didn’t know. The tyranny of small numbers has not had the same effect on the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds flying team, the sibling unit of the Blue Angels. We are a strategic asset for Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP). Having women, various races, sexual orientations, and religions represented allows you to tap into many backgrounds. Carrying on the family legacy, she joined the Marine Corps after graduating from the US Naval Academy. "Little girls have told me that they didn't even know that ladies could fly aircraft, that women could be in the cockpit.". Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. It breaks down the divide between officers and enlisted and creates closer bonds between its team members. WALLOPS ISLAND, Va- The Blue Angels made their inaugural performance at the 8th annual air show in Ocean City on Saturday. Even if the blame is on someone else in the unit, the leader is accountable. 1947 1946 1946. As per Ed Kopko’s book, “Project Bold Life: The Proven Formula for Taking on Challenges and Achieving Happiness and Success”, “Pursuing boldness in our lives demands seeking a higher level of excellence.” Without question, Higgins’ bold life is a direct result of her pursuit of personal excellence! The Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds both put on spectacular air shows, and recently have been doing joint city flyovers to … Higgins, who has flown over 400 flight hours in combat and almost 1,000 since she joined the Blue Angels last September, said her goals of being a pilot didn’t truly manifest until her second-class midshipman year at the Naval Academy when she flew her first non-commercial aircraft. Younger kids did not know a female could be a Blue Angel or Marine and I corrected those misperceptions. LT Maurice Wickendoll. U.S. Marine Corps Capt. She performed at airshows across the country, breaking sound and gender barriers. Her name is Katie Higgins, and she is inspirational! “It’s absolutely humbling, and I’m honored to be here to represent the Navy and Marine Corps team,” Cmdr. The trouble is getting all these people and units focused on the same goal. She has set the standard for female Marines and is absolutely an inspiration to us. Stephen Losey Buzz about the Blue Angels’ probe followed Tuesday’s unrelated announcement about the Air Force’s firing of Capt. LT Maurice Wickendoll. Charging in the same direction. Lt. Madeline Swegle this month became the Navy's first Black female tactical jet pilot. “I think by including a lady on the team, that just shows little girls and guys that women can do whatever they put their mind to," Higgins told CBS News. Ultimately the responsibility is on you in command of Marine Corps pilot ’ s 50th year the. Career in a firefight and by taking action on the enemy Force in our mission to. 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