Marine Corps Welcomes Its First Female F-35B Pilot

Sgt Ashley Phillips / Marine Corps via Anneliese Satz / Facebook

According to, females were unable to serve as pilots in the Marine Corps until 1993. That’s when pilot positions were first made available to women, though the Marines didn’t get its first female pilot until 1995.

That woman was 2nd Lt. Sarah Deal, a CH-53E heavy-lift helicopter pilot.

Now, 24 years after Lt. Deal became the Marine’s first female pilot, another woman is making military history.

Her name is Capt. Anneliese Satz, and she’s a 29-year-old native of Boise, Idaho. Capt. Satz previously worked as a commercial helicopter pilot before she joined the Marines.

Capt. Satz underwent four years of training as a naval aviator. On August 8, the Marine Corps announced that Capt. Satz had become the first female Marine to complete the F-35B Basic Course, which she accomplished on June 27.

She is now the first female Marine to pilot the F-35B jet, which is the first supersonic STOVl aircraft in the world. According to the Marine Corps, “It’s designed to operate from austere, short-field bases and a range of air-capable ships operating near front-line combat zones.”

Capt. Satz says the excitement of piloting the F-35B never wears off.

The first flight in an F-35 is by yourself,” she is quoted as saying in the Marine Corps’ press release about her achievements. “The syllabus thoroughly prepares you for that first time you take off and for every flight after that, it’s an exhilarating experience.”

Now that Capt. Satz has completed her training, has been assigned to her first operational unit. That unit is the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, also known as “The Green Knights” in Iwakuni, Japan.

I am incredibly excited to get to VMFA-121 and look forward to the opportunity to serve in the Fleet Marine Forces,” Capt. Satz said.

You can learn more about Capt. Satz’s accomplishments by tuning in to the video below. We’d like to congratulate her, and wish her well as she continues her service!