Women Warriors From The Sky
As the Twentieth Century came to an end, women were now full-fledged
Aviators, Airborne Soldiers and Space Adventurers.
Here are some of their stories.
(October 6, 1978)
Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut is a national heroine, a Chinese media superstar and having landed in her capsule under a parachute, an honorary Lady of Skydiving.
Banners herald China’s first female “taikonaut”.
Born on October 6, 1978, Liu joined the People’s Liberation Army in 1997 and became a pilot at Changchun No. 1 Flight College. Rising to the rank of major, she flew cargo planes. Liu was praised as her country’s Sully Sullenberger, for her cool handling of her jet after a bird strike by a flock of pigeons; she was able to safely land the massive and heavily damaged aircraft.
Recruited into the astronaut corps in 2010 and after two years of astronaut training, Liu excelled, and along with another woman, Wang Yaping, was selected for the astronaut corps.
In March 2012, Liu was selected for the mission of Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft, becoming China’s first female astronaut.
On June 16, 2012, at 10:37:24 UTC Liu Yang became the first Chinese woman in space, and member of the first crew to dock with the Tiangong 1 space station, which took place on June 18. The Shenzhou 9 spacecraft landed at 02:01:16 UTC on June 29 in Inner Mongolia Region under parachute.
—“I love children and life. Being a housewife and spending time with the family is a type of happiness, but being an astronaut perhaps is another type of happiness that not everyone could have”
Sherri Jo Gallagher
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and Golden Knight, Sherri Jo Gallagher is one of the top long-range rifle “marksmen” in the country, and was named 2010 Army Soldier of the Year, the first woman to earn this title.
Sherri Jo shouldered her first rifle at the tender age of five. Coming from a family of champion rifle and clay pigeon shooters, Sherri Jo’s pedigree as a “rifleman” is unmatched. In August 2010, Sherri was the second woman to win the NRA’s National High Power Rifle Championship; the first woman had been her mother, Nancy Tompkins.
Born in 1984, Sherri Jo attended Prescott Christian High School in Prescott AZ.
After graduation, in 2008 Sherri Jo enlisted in the U.S. Army, attended Basic at Ft Leonard Wood and trained as a truck driver. Her shooting skills were soon recognized and she was stationed at Ft. Benning, where she completed the Warriors Leaders Course and where she served as a shooter/competitor/instructor on the Army Marksmanship Unit. Sherri Jo competed in a number of World and National Championships. She also instructed Squad Designated Marksmanship classes for soldiers in long range rifle engagements. In 2010, she competed and won the Army Soldier of the Year Competition.
Sherri Jo learned to jump in October 2010, when she was assigned to the Army Airborne School at Fort Benning where she earned her Jump Wings, logging over 2000 jumps in addition to her five military static line exits, Sherri Jo joined the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights.
SSG Gallagher has had one combat tour, has been awarded the President’s Hundred Tab/Brassard,Airborne Wings, Meritorious Service Medal, two Army
Commendation Medals, and four Army Achievement Medals.
In her “down” time, Sherri Jo enjoys flying in the wind tunnel, long range rifle competition, theater, literature,crossfit training and yoga.
In 2013, Sherri Jo was profiled by Business Insider as one of the “Most Impressive Women in the U.S.”
“There is no goal too high for someone. If there’s something you really want to do and you’re motivated, it’s your venue to accomplish it”—Sherri Jo Gallagher
Monica Lin Brown
(May 24, 1988)
On the late evening of April 25, 2007, Eighteen year old Army 82nd Airborne PFC Monica Lin Brown rushed out of her Humvee after a vehicle in her convoy was hit with an IED. Braving small arms fire, PFC Brown selflessly put herself in harm’s way to save the lives of two critically wounded fellow soldiers. “There was small arms coming in from two different machine-gun positions, mortars falling … a burning Humvee with 16 mortar rounds in it, chunks of aluminum the size of softballs flying all around.”—Brown’s platoon leader, SSgt.Martin Robbins.
After rescuing both men, she put her medical expertise to work treating both injured brothers for helicopter evac, which would not arrive for nearly another hour.
Monica Lin for her gallantry was promoted to Specialist and presented the Silver Star by the Vice President in 2008. The Silver Star is the third-highest award for valor during combat. Monica Lin Brown is the first woman of the war in Afghanistan and the second woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star, the only other woman is Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, who engaged the enemy in direct combat in Iraq in 2005.
“Kudos to my chain of command for that. I know the training, like I was given, any medic would have done the same in my position.”—Monica Lin Brown