U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have introduced a resolution to honor the late Capt. Rosemary Mariner, the Navy’s first female fighter pilot.
S. Res. 61 was introduced in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 7. The resolution’s tracking information is available online here.
Mariner was buried on Feb. 2 in Maynardville, Tennessee, Blackburn tweeted. She was honored with the first all-female-pilot flyover in Navy history.
The Navy’s first female fighter pilot was laid to rest yesterday, and her life was celebrated with the first all-female flyover in her honor. Thank you, Captain Rosemary Mariner, for your service to our country.🇺🇸 https://t.co/VgwtZ7Xhnq via @knoxnews
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) February 3, 2019
Mariner’s parents were a Navy nurse and an Air Force pilot who died in a plane crash, NBC News said.
According to her obituary, Mariner, 65, died Jan. 24 after a five-year fight with ovarian cancer. Her husband of 40 years, Navy Cmdr. Tommy Mariner (ret.) was by her side. The Harlingen, Texas native graduated from Purdue University at age 19 with a degree in aeronautics.
Mariner was one of the first eight women selected to fly military aircraft in 1973, her obituary says. She became the Navy’s first female jet pilot flying the A-4C and the A-7E Corsair II. Her distinguished military career was capped with an assignment as Chairman of the Joint Chief’s Chair in Military Strategy at the National War College; she retired in 1997.
Mariner served as a resident scholar at the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Tennessee in the History Department.
Blackburn said, “Throughout her life, Captain Mariner broke barriers that paved the way for women to follow in her footsteps. 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.”
Alexander said, “Captain Rosemary Mariner was one of the Navy’s first woman fighter pilots in 1974, at just 21 years old. 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.”
– – –