October 30, 2020

Air Force takes steps to clear path for women’s advancement

Featuring Kayla M. Williams

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist Missy Ryan

When Alexandra Jackson joined the West Virginia Air National Guard in 2018, she was looking forward to becoming a pilot with the 167th Airlift Wing, like her father. But at 5-foot-1, three inches shorter than the minimum standard, Jackson soon learned she would need a waiver to fly her unit’s C-17 transport plane and one of the two trainer aircraft before that.

Jackson applied for the waivers but was denied. “It was heartbreaking, to say the least,” she said.

She then sought a different exception that sometimes is granted if pilot candidates can pass a separate measurement exam conducted in the aircraft cockpit. Her superiors in the Air National Guard had never conducted such a test for the C-17 and had to work with Air Force officials to create one. She eventually passed and recently learned she can begin officer training school next year.

Read the full story and more from The Washington Post.


  • Kayla M. Williams

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Kayla M. Williams is a former Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS)....