A first in female flight


Photo courtesy of Naomi Ngalle

WS alum Naomi Ngalle (second from the right) and her colleagues on the field airstrip before the flyover. Ngalle said there is nothing she values more than the ability to inspire the next generation of female aviators.

The Super Bowl has featured a military flyover since the late 1960s, but this year’s made history: it was the first to be flown exclusively by women. And to top that, a WS alum was part of this historic event. 

Lieutenant Naomi Ngalle, a WS graduate of the Class of 2010, is a Weapon Systems Officer for the US Navy. As Ngalle put it, she is essentially a juiced-up version of Goose from “Top Gun,” and she was a part of the pregame flyover. 

“The night I got the call was frankly a shocking and humbling experience,” recalled Ngalle. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘I have an extremely unique opportunity to represent the other women that I’ve revered for so long.’” 

Ngalle wasn’t just thinking of the present, though. She also saw the opportunity to inspire the future.

“Fortunately, I had the opportunity to see the excitement firsthand at a meet-and-greet at a middle school in Arizona. The response was incredible,” Ngalle said. “Seeing all the young boys and girls get excited at the prospect of Naval aviation as both a career and profession warmed my heart.” 

Ngalle’s upbringing in the WS community was also very important to her. 

“I have been blessed with some excellent mentors and coaches in my life that taught me a tough work ethic, discipline, and leadership. I learned a ton about the value of positive reinforcement and self-evaluation,” said Ngalle. “It’s all about a positive approach to make yourself better.”

This was not a path Ngalle thought that she would be walking down either. Originally, she planned on joining the Air Force, but she eventually saw an opportunity at the Naval Academy, took it, and ran with it. 

“During my tenure in the Navy, I found a love for flying and selected Naval Aviation prior to commissioning,” Ngalle said. “If high school me could see me now, she would probably be in disbelief, seeing as this was not my initial choice as a career path. But it’s been an amazing ride ever since.”

Most important to Ngalle is the impact her family has made on her. 

“I have a spectacular mother and siblings as my support system,” Ngalle said. “They make me the best version of myself to better serve the Nation.”

The importance and magnitude of this opportunity was not lost on Ngalle either.

“There is truly no higher honor,” said Ngalle. “This experience was unparalleled and I am so grateful to be able to represent the WS community!”