How many 7 year olds come back to school after a weekend with a photo of an F-16 Fighter Jet with their name on it???
Maj. Michelle M. Curran
Maj. Michelle M. Curran is the Lead Solo Pilot for the United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. As Thunderbird 5, she flies the #5 jet and serves as the squadron’s Chief of Standardization and Evaluation. She is in her second season with the team. Curran entered the Air Force in 2009 with a Reserve Officer Training Corps commission from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She completed the Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus, MS and assigned to the F-16 Misawa Air Base, Japan. Curran has flown more than 1,500 hours in the F-16, including 163 combat hours over Afghanistan in support of Operation Resolute Support and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Prior to the Thunderbirds, she was an F-16 Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas.
2009 Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, University of St. Thomas
2010 Air and Space Basic Course, Squadron Officer College
2014 Squadron Officer School
Nov 2009 – Nov 2011 Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training and Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals,
14th Operational Support Squadron Columbus AFB, Miss.
Nov 2011 – Nov 2012 Student, F-16 Basic Course, 308th Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
Nov 2012 – Nov 2015 F-16 Pilot/Chief of Scheduling, 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
Nov 2015 – Sept 2018 F-16 Instructor Pilot/Flight Commander, 355th Fighter Squadron, NAS JRB Fort Worth, Texas
Sept 2018 – Present Thunderbird #5, Opposing Solo, USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
Rating: Senior Pilot
Flight hours: More than 1,500
Aircraft flown: T-6, T-38, F-16C
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Aug 2009
First Lieutenant Aug 2011
Captain Aug 2013
Major July 2019
Clara Adams (born Clara Grabau; 1884 – 1971), known as the “first flighter” and the “maiden of maiden flights,” was an aviator who set a variety of flying records. She helped popularize air travel and is known for being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger aboard the Graf Zeppelin.
Amelia Mary Earhart, born July 24, 1897; disappeared July 2, 1937) was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for this accomplishment. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. In 1935, Earhart became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University as an advisor to aeronautical engineering and a career counselor to women students. She was also a member of the National Woman’s Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.
During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Fascination with her life, career and disappearance continues to this day.