Again, perhaps we shouldn’t extrapolate too much from this, but…
The first female pilot to lead the U.S. Air Force’s Viper team was asked to leave after two weeks on the job, the Air Force Times reported.
Capt. Zoe Kotnik was commander of the F-16 Viper Demo Team, a fleet that performs complicated aerial stunts at widely seen events such as the Super Bowl.
Col. Allen Herritage, director of public affairs at Air Combat Command, stated that Col. Derek O’Malley, 20th Fighter Wing commander, relieved Kotnik of command due to his “loss of confidence in her ability to lead and command.”
Two weeks. Either the selection process is incapable of weeding out those who lack the “ability to lead and command” or it was deliberately compromised for political reasons. I know which option I’d stake the contents of my wallet on.
Kotnik’s hiring was announced on Twitter on Jan. 29, showing a photo of her with the caption, “In that instant, she knew she could fly her F-16 higher, further and faster than anyone else.”
One thing I will say for the current crop of empowered women gunning for top leadership positions, they’re not lacking in self-belief. Unfortunately, it seems in this case it was misplaced.
The unit will now be commanded by Maj. John Waters, who led the Viper team last year.
The real injustice here is that, absent the railroading of Kotnik into the position, a more suitable candidate would have taken it. That person lost out on the job he deserved, all so the top brass could tick a diversity box.
(Via Kevin Michael Grace)