First African American Female Pilot Gets Her Wings at D.C. Army National Guard

African American Femaile Pilot
Army 1st Lt. Dina Elosiebo

*Its 2014 and African American firsts are still happening.

This time it occurs in the Washington, D. C. National Guard, where we are happy to learn that Army 1st Lt. Dina Elosiebo was given her Army aviator wings following her completion of Initial Entry Rotary Wing Flight School at Fort Rucker, Ala.

This makes her the first female African-American pilot in D.C. Army National Guard history.

Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, says though this is recognized as a special occasion for any graduate, regardless of their race or ethnicity the promotion of Elosiebo is, “…an extraordinary, historical event for us,” adding “We’re extremely proud…She’s a fine officer, and now, Army aviator.”

Elosiebo had previously earned her FAA commercial pilots license to become a certified flight instructor prior to joining the army. And according to Hello Beautiful, as the oldest child, Elosiebo developed leadership skills and a strong sense of responsibility at an early age. A large portion of her success also stems from her fellow Black flight pioneers, the Tuskegee Airmen; with mentors like original Tuskegee Airmen Herbert Jones, who later formed the first African-American-owned airline in the country.

“When I think about the trailblazers who went before me and the adversity they continuously faced, be it gender, ethnicity, or simply doing what had not been done, it makes me realize I wouldn’t have a story if it wasn’t for them,” Elosiebo said.

Thanks to WJLA and Hello Beautiful for excerpts of this story.

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