RFT 396: First Female Thunderbird Nicole Malachowski

Nicole Malachowski |

Ready For Takeoff 

Many have called her a vanguard as one of the first women fighter pilots for the United States Air Force and the first woman to fly in the elite USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, better known as the “Thunderbirds”. Titles and accolades aside, Nicole Malachowski has lived life according to a simple mantra – “Live an unscripted life.”

Throughout her career ranging from combat fighter pilot to commander, to White House Fellow, and duty as a personal advisor to the First Lady concerning military service members, veterans and military families, Nicole sought opportunities that she had passion for, rather than ones that followed the expected progression in her career field.

While that passionate, adventurous us spirit yielded a successful military career, Nicole’s flight path was not always smooth. Along the way, she learned how to use undaunted determination to overcome adversity, break some barriers, and live with a higher compassion for humanity. Sometimes you have to yield to a big obstacle in order to be able to overcome it.

Nicole is a leader, an igniter of passion and purpose. She is an advocate for those who have chosen to serve their country and for those who have endured personal challenges, to include complex medical journeys.

In this new chapter of her life, as a retired Colonel from the U.S. Air Force, Nicole looks to share her stories and what she has learned, to help others find and ignite their own unstoppable spirits in order to succeed far beyond what they had dreamed.

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