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By Elizabeth Chuck
The rules were clear as she grew up: women were not allowed to fly US military aircraft. But that would not stop Rosemary Bryant Mariner.
The daughter of a Navy nurse and an air force pilot who died in a plane crash when she was three years old had set herself the goal of flying as well as possible in the armed services. She received her private pilot's license at the age of 1
A year later, as a growing feminist movement under the pretext of the Equal Rights Amendment, the Navy lifted its restrictions and opened its flight program for women – Mariner was on his way to becoming a pioneer in the military.
She was in the first grade of women who earned her naval wings in 1973. Mariner became the first woman to fly a tactical jet in 1974, just 21 years old; In 1982, she was one of the first women who served aboard a warship of the US Navy. In 1991, during the Gulf War, she was the first woman to command a flying squadron. Later, she was instrumental in lifting women's eligibility to fight exclusions.
Capt. Mariner died of ovarian cancer last Thursday at the age of 65, almost five years after the diagnosis. At their funeral service on Saturday, the Navy plans to honor them with a "missed overflight" – a tribute in honor of deceased aviators – that will consist of all women. It will be the first all-female overflight ever undertaken, the Navy said.
Her husband, almost 39 years old, retired. Navy Cmdr. Tommy Mariner said that the fact that everything will be purely female would flatter Mariner, but she would "certainly not say that this component is necessary."
"It's wonderful that the Navy can do that and it's good that they have lots of women where they can fill all cockpits with women," he said in a broken voice. "But that would not be a requirement for Rosemary."
A petite woman, who had no trouble meeting the Navy's physical requirements, made Mariner clear from the moment she accepted that she wanted to fly, Captain Capt. Joellen Drag Oslund, one of Mariner's classmates from 1973 and the Navy's first helicopter pilot.
"From the beginning Rosemary has been a lot of effort and determination in a small package."
For the first moment, Rosemary had packed a lot of effort and determination in a small package, "Oslund said." She had just that vision and mission, and nothing would stop her from achieving that. "
Marine to eight women, including Mariner and Oslund, to which, as Oslund said, was called Women's School. "Six ended with the completion of the program. Mariner, said Oslund, "did not object that the officer's school should only be tolerated and that the real work should be in flight school."
Despite the women's ability to keep up, there were a few in the Navy who were not completely open to them.
"I would say the reception in the fleet was skeptical, but not openly hostile," said Oslund. "It was called an experimental program, the Navy, to be honest, I do not think she or we would stay 20 years."
In interviews over the years, Mariner, a San Diego-born, Texas-bred Mariner, joined the commander of her first squadron, Captain Ray Lambert, who was black, and counseled her, as she did to be successful. [19659007""ErhatmirbeigebrachtwieschwarzeMännerinderNavyundalleDienstemiteinandervernetztsindErhatmirerzähltwieesseinwirdundwaswiralsFrauentunmüssen"sagtesiederUniversityofTennesseewosieUS-MilitärgeschichteunterrichteteSeitJahrenimNovember2017"ErbestanddaraufdassFrauenniemalseinegetrennteBefehlskettehabensolltenDieRassentrennungindenStreitkräftenwareinegroßeHürdediedieAfroamerikanerüberwindenmussten"
Katherine Sharp land cover, historian of women Airforce Service Pilots and professor at Texas Women & # 39; s University She was friends with Mariner and said Mariners intelligence is one of its trademarks along with her willingness to help others reach their potential
"She was also a bad pilot. Landing on transport companies That's pretty bad. You are not just landing a jet. You land a jet on a runway that ascends and descends in the seas, and I think as a woman you do that everyone watches on deck. "
" It shaped generations of people with that confidence in helping them find their way, "Landdeck said.
" She was also a bad pilot. Landing on transport companies That's pretty bad. You are not just landing a jet. You're landing on a runway with a jet of water, going up and down in the seas, and I think as a woman you do it when you watch everyone on deck. Very cool under pressure.
Mariner's husband, while proud of the doors she opened to other women in the armed services, never thought of the work she did as a revolutionary.
"She was thinking about people – not men and women, "he said. From the point of view of doing the work and the way you are treated in the world, she feels that people should be treated equally.
In her cancer diagnosis, she went in the same way for everything else in her life – teaching herself as well as possible, relying on her Catholic faith to withstand difficult times, and regarding her as her "mission" Diagnosed four and a half years ago, doctors believed that she had only a few months to live.
In her interview with the University of Tennessee in 2017, she emphasized the importance of perseverance.
"Life Can Treat You Many Balls" , she said." you stay there and do not stop.