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In historic first, 1st female Navy fighter pilot to get all-female burial flyover

Navy Capt. Rosemary Bryant Mariner. (Smithsonian Institution/Released)
February 01, 2019

On Saturday in Tennessee, a Navy aeronautic display will take place using only female pilots, marking a first in the history of the military.

The ceremonial flyover is to “honor the death of the first female in the Navy to fly a tactical fighter jet, retired Capt. Rosemary Mariner,” the Huffington Post reported.

The flyover, which is customarily conducted in honor of pilots or military personnel, is more commonly called the “missing man flyover.”

During Mariner’s funeral service on Saturday in Maynardville, Tenn., the all-female flyover will bid Mariner farewell after she lost her five-year battle with ovarian cancer on Jan. 24.

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Every pilot in the flyover is from the Oceana Naval Air Station and the Navy said each will be flying F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

Rosemary Mariner was the first woman jet pilot for the Navy after she completed flight training in 1974 and was handed her Wings of Gold, News 3 reported.

Mariner was the proud pilot of the -4E/L Skyhawk and the A-7E Corsair II as well as the “first female military aviator to achieve command of an operational air squadron,” News 3 added.

Mariner played a massive role in Operation Desert Storm commanding Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Thirty-Four (VAQ-34) and served aboard the USS Lexington, a role very few women served in, Fox 5 News reported.

She was also certified as a Surface Warfare Officer.

Mariner later earned a master’s in national security strategy from the National War College in Washington, D.C. She also served in the Pentagon with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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Mariner retired from the Navy in 1997. During her career, she achieved the rank of Captain, flew 15 different aircraft in which she completed 3,500 flight hours, and made 17 carrier landings.

“The flyover, which is typically an aerial salute, includes four Super Hornets flying in formation while one of the jets exits the formation and ascends in a vertical formation into the heavens”, the Navy described, and Fox 5 stated.

Here is a list of the female pilots that will conduct the ceremonial flyover on Saturday:

Stacy Uttecht, Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron Thirty-Two (VFA-32)

Leslie Mintz, Executive Officer, VFA-213

Cmdr. Paige Bloc, VFA-32

Cmdr. Danielle Thiriot, VFA-106

Cmdr. Jennifer Hesling, NAS Oceana

Christy Talisse, VFA-211

Amanda Lee, VFA-81

Emily Rixey, Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic