Senators Blackburn and Alexander Introduce Resolution to Honor First Female Naval Aviator

February 11, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) introduced a resolution to honor Captain Rosemary Mariner, the Navy’s first female fighter pilot. On February 2, 2019, Captain Mariner was laid to rest in Maynardville, Tennessee, and honored with the first all-female piloted flyover in the history of the United States Navy.

“Throughout her life, Captain Mariner broke barriers that paved the way for women to follow in her footsteps,” said Senator Blackburn. “She worked tirelessly for the equality of women in the military, leading the Women Military Aviators organization and working with members of Congress and a Defense Department advisory board to overturn laws and regulations barring women from combat. The all-female flyover was the perfect way to pay tribute to her service and sacrifice and remind people of the inspirational legacy she leaves for young Tennessee women who wish to join our military.”

“Captain Rosemary Mariner was one of the Navy’s first woman fighter pilots in 1974, at just 21 years old,” said Senator Alexander. “During the Gulf War, she became the first woman to command an aviation squadron, and she was instrumental in the repeal of combat exclusion restrictions on women. I’m grateful for her incredible life of service.”

Captain Mariner has lived in Tennessee for the past twenty years, where she taught military history at the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.