First female F-14 pilot says, “Raise your hand.”

I can’t help but continue to reflect on a presentation I was able to see first-hand almost a month ago. Carey Lohrenz came to base to speak during the annual “Women of the Wing” event last drill. Not only was she an inspiration to listen to at that moment, but I’ve been carrying her words with me ever since.

Lohrenz was the first female F-14 fighter pilot. As if that wasn’t enough, her perseverance since her flying days has allowed her to accomplish so much more in life. As a mother, author and motivational speaker – she has been an inspiration to many who’ve had the privilege of meeting her and allowing her to impact their lives.

During one of her key points, Lohrenz pointed out that most women wait until they are more than 100% qualified before they raise their hand to either volunteer or apply for a particular position. Men, on the other hand, are eager to raise their hands when they are only 50% qualified.

She also presented some stats on success. Those who make more money and advance in their careers are usually the people who are likely to take risks.

Although she filled us up with so much more, those key portions of her speech have really helped me to look at my path differently. Why haven’t I tried to advance further? With my CCAF, bachelors and masters degrees completed….I should be taking the AFOQT!

But why haven’t I? I’ve purchased the book to study, but I’ve never actually signed up to take the test.

Lohrenz said this situation is common, and as females we need to raise our hands before we’re ready to.

I’ll raise my hand – will you?

Step out on that limb and take a chance. Force yourself to do more, be more, see more. Embrace your strengths, learn from your weaknesses, and above all, be the best American Airman you can be!

Carey Lohrenz – thank you for providing inspiration while being a positive role model to women in both the military and civilian sectors!


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About Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode

Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode is a photojournalist for the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wisconsin.