Joellen Drag Oslund & Beverly Weintraub | The Story of My Fight to Fly at Sea | Talks at Google

Joellen Drag Oslund & Beverly Weintraub discuss Captain Oslund’s story and journey as the first woman to go through and complete flight training and certification to pilot helicopters for the US Navy during the early 1970s. She broke new grounds for US servicewomen in the US Navy, which came with restrictions and barriers that she and other women faced during their careers. Captain Oslund played a key role in overcoming those barriers and opening up more opportunities for women in the military that transpire to this day.

Captain Joellen Drag Oslund, USNR (Ret) completed Navy flight training as the fourth women Naval Aviator and the first woman helicopter pilot in 1974. In 1972, CAPT Oslund was selected as one of four civilians to enter Navy flight training when the program was opened to women by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Chief of Naval Operations. In 1973, CAPT Oslund graduated from Navy Women Officer School (now Officer Candidate School), and entered Navy flight training. In 1974, she earned the coveted Naval Aviator “Wings of Gold” and reported for flight duty with Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 3.

In addition to being the Navy’s first women helicopter pilot, CAPT Oslund’s significant career accomplishments include: successfully challenging the federal law that excluded women from serving in the U.S. Navy ships, 1st Navy woman pilot assigned to flying duty aboard a U.S. Navy ship, 1st Navy woman Combat Search & Rescue (CSAR) Helicopter Aircraft Commander, 7 rescues of aircraft accident survivors and 2017 Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame inductee. CAPT Oslund retired from the US Navy Reserve in 1998 after completing 25 years of service.

Beverly Weintraub is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and instrument-rated private pilot. As an editorial writer for the New York Daily News, she covered topics including education, social services and aviation, and she shared the 2007 Pulitzer for Editorial Writing for an in-depth investigation into the illnesses afflicting World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers after 9/11. Her op-eds about women and aviation have appeared in the Washington Post and New York Daily News. Bev holds tailwheel, complex and high-performance airplane endorsements and has crisscrossed the country in single-engine propeller aircraft.

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