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First Female Thunderbird

Tony in Boulder sends the link to this story via CNN of Major Nicole Malachowski who landed her dream job on the USAF Thunderbirds:

(first woman on USAF demonstration team)
By Alex Quade


WICHITA, Kansas (CNN) -- Air Force Maj. Nicole Malachowski says she always has wanted to fly -- and fly fast. She got her private pilot's certificate before she got her driver's license, and she's been soaring ever since.

When Congress changed the rules in the early 1990s, allowing women to fly combat missions, her future was sealed. Now at 31, Malachowski is the newest member of the Air Force's Thunderbird demonstration squadron -- the first woman on any U.S. military high performance jet team.

"People talk about glass ceilings or breaking barriers," she said. "I don't even understand those concepts. Those words have actually never existed in my life."

She pointed to her name on the side of her F-16. "I'm so glad I live in a country where at 5 years old I can say, 'Hey I'm going to grow up and be a fighter pilot,' and here it is."...

Major Malachowski also has 200 hours flying combat missions in support of our ground troops.  Be sure to read the whole piece.  There's also a nice video too.