Tammie Jo Shults of the US Navy

Today we salute a veteran who exemplifies everything that our armed forces stand for.
This Former US Navy Aviator personifies the Honor, Courage, and Commitment of the US Military every day. Captain Tammie Jo Shults of the United States Navy is a Captain for Southwest Airlines, where she flies Boeing 737’s daily. It was in this position, at the controls of Flight 1380, two years ago on Tuesday April 17th, 2018, where Captain Shults safely and confidently made an emergency landing in her fully loaded aircraft saving the lives of her passengers and crew. Sadly one passenger was killed when an exploding jet engine sent shrapnel into the airplane interior, puncturing the skin and blowing out a window. But even with the knowledge that her airplane was severely damaged, down one engine, and that there were a number of injuries aboard including some serious, Captain Shults commanded that airliner to a safe landing in Philadelphia. A native of New Mexico, Shults graduated college in 1983 with degrees in both Biology and Agribusiness from MidAmerica Nazarene University before joining the Navy. Shults always dreamt of becoming a pilot, and initially applied for the Air Force but was unable to test to become a pilot because the Air Force was not accepting female pilot applicants then. The US Navy welcomed her, and she went on to become one of the first female fighter jet pilots in US Navy history. She rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during her 10 year career with the distinction of being THE FIRST woman to fly the Navy’s F/A-18 Fighter Jet and was a member of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 34 when she finished her career with the Navy in 1993 and accepted a position with Southwest Airlines. Now a Captain with the airline and a mother of 2, she lives in Texas with her husband Dean who is also a pilot. Captain Tammie Jo Shults is a hero and an inspiration to an entire nation.