Marine Capt. Anneliese Satz just made a name for herself June 27 at the Marine air station at Beaufort, South Carolina, for being the first female Marine to complete the F-35B syllabus.
It’s a historic feat for the Corps, as she joins a relatively small field of Marine F-35 pilots.
The Corps’ high-tech stealth fighter pilots were only manned with 86 pilots as of February, according to data obtained through a government records request. The field is authorized to have 263 pilots.
Satz arrived at Beaufort, South Carolina, with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 in July 2018 and took her first flight in the F-35 in October, according to a Marine Corps release.
“The first flight in an F-35 is by yourself,” she said in the command release. “The syllabus thoroughly prepares you for that first time you take off and for every flight after that, it’s an exhilarating experience.”
She’s not new to flying, though: She earned her commercial pilot license flying a Robinson R44 Helicopter before becoming a Marine, according to a release.
Over the past four years the 29-year-old has completed much military flight training to include aviation pre-flight indoctrination in Pensacola, Florida, primary flight training in Corpus Christi, Texas, and T-45C Goshawk training in Meridian, Mississippi, the release detailed.
Following that training she was assigned to VMFAT-501 to train on the F-35B.
“At each of my training schools I did my best,” Satz, said in a command release. “I truly believe that showing up prepared and working diligently are two major keys to success.”
Following completion of her F-35 syllabus in June she went to survival, evasion, resistance and escape school and had a patching ceremony Aug. 2, Satz told Marine Corps Times.
Satz is now headed to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, the Green Knights based out of Iwakuni, Japan, a release said.
“I’m very grateful for the instructors, the maintainers, and countless others at 501 who lent me their expertise and time while I was going through the syllabus,” Satz said in the command release.
Another female Marine, 1st Lt. Catherine Stark, is also making strides within the Corps’ F-35 community. After completing flight training in August aboard Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, she became the first female Marine to be selected to train and fly the F-35C.
Stark’s next step is to kick off nine to 12 months of F-35C training at the Navy’s F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron in Lemoore, California, according to Capt. Christopher Harrison, a Marine spokesman.
While these two women are making history within the Corps’ F-35 community, they are not the first women to fly the F-35.
In 2015, then-Air Force Lt. Col. Christine Mau became the first female F-35 pilot, and in December 2018, Air Force Maj. Rachael Winiecki became the first female test pilot to fly an F-35, according to Air Force Times.
The Marine Corps is procuring both the C and B variants of the F-35. The F-35B is able to launch by vertical take off and can operate from the Navy’s amphibious assault ships. The F-35C is the aircraft carrier variant of the high-tech stealth fighter.
The Corps plans to procure 353 F-35Bs and 67 F35Cs, according to the Marine Corps’ 2019 aviation plan.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.