Blackburn, Alexander File Resolution to Honor the Late Capt. Rosemary Mariner, the Navy’s First Female Pilot

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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.

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.”

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Marsha Blackburn” by Marsha Blackburn. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Thoughts to “Blackburn, Alexander File Resolution to Honor the Late Capt. Rosemary Mariner, the Navy’s First Female Pilot”

  1. josh Read

    Kudos to Senators Blackburn and Alexander standing in remembrance of Captain Mariner.
    Every military family doubtless appreciates posthumous recognition for their loved one’s service.
    Have we though not reached a point where the public recognition for a previously inhibited gender or sexual preference aspect of someone’s career performance simply creates an open season to every sub category of distinction? An award show mentality which promotes uniqueness over job performance.
    Elected official seem to feel it is their role proclaim these honors and yet perhaps we would prefer they use their public visibility time to take stands on substantive policy issues.

    1. 83ragtop50

      Well said. I did not vote to send either of these senators to Washington to spend time on any number of assorted declarations and citations. It is akin to Nero fiddling as he watched Rome burn.

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