This 35-year-old mother is soaring to new heights in her role as one of the Israeli Air Force’s “top guns.”
By United With Israel Staff
On Tuesday, Lt. Col. G. (name withheld for security reasons) became the first female commander of an Israel Air Force (IAF) flight squadron.
The 35-year-old mother of two enlisted in the IAF pilots’ course in 2003 as part of the 151st Squadron. Graduating as a cargo aircraft pilot, Lt. G. was assigned to the 135th Squadron and then the 131st Squadron, fulfilling a range of command positions in the IAF flight academy.
She served as deputy squadron commander of the 122nd Nachshon Squadron between 2015 and 2017, for which she is now the commander.
Israel has had female officers in command of IAF aircraft and maintenance squadrons, as well as a female deputy commander of a combat squadron. Additionally, there have been several female officers in key roles at the IAF’s command center. But Lt. Col.G. is the first to command a flight squadron.
The IAF began accepting women in the Flight Academy 24 years ago following the success of a petition to Israel’s Supreme Court, in 1994, from civilian pilot Alice Miller. The petition noted, “The IDF is the people’s military [for] both the men and women who live in this country.”
It continued, “The petitioner asks that her military service will be examined according to her capabilities and personal qualities alone and not according to her gender. The petitioner requests to realize her right for equality”.
Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner approved Miller’s petition saying that it was “one of the most significant milestones in IAF history.”
In an interview posted on the IAF website in 2017, Dorner said, “Withholding a profession based on gender alone is an obvious act of discrimination…There used to be female pilots in the IAF, and as a result, an impression was made that during wartime, when there is a lack in manpower, gender is no longer a consideration. And so, the military must adjust its systems to match them to both male and female needs.”
Lt. Col. G. is now realizing the dream set forth in the Miller judgment decades ago.
Commander of the Israeli Air Force Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin called Lt. Col. G. “a role model and a source of admiration for thousands of women in the State of Israel.”
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