D.C. National Guard Graduates Its First African-American Female Pilot

First Lt. Dina Elosiebo completed flight school in February.

Posted: 03/19/2014 10:46 AM EDT

(Photo: Courtesy of the U.S. Army)

First Lt. Dina Elosiebo has made women's history and Black history as the first African-American pilot for the D.C. National Guard in February. The Army made the announcement about its newest Army aviator on their website in March. 

"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, according to the Army.

Elosiebo was given her "Army aviator wings" after she completed the Initial Entry Rotary Wing Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Regardless of race or gender, Elosiebo has accomplished something special that comes with rigorous training, according to Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard. 

"The diversity of our armed forces is what makes us strong," Schwartz said, according to the Army.

The Tuskegee Airmen, African-American pilots who fought in World War II, had a great hand in helping Elosiebo rise through the ranks to her current position. She has received support through scholarships from their association and was also mentored by some of the original pilots. 


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