Remoshay Nelson: USAF 1st black woman Thunderbird public affairs officer

Theodora Aidoo May 20, 2020
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U.S. Air Force Captain Remoshay Nelson, a Howard University graduate and the first black woman Thunderbird public affairs officer, has been hailed for her efforts as part of the team offering a special salute to the healthcare workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels have been performing flyovers to honour the frontline workers helping in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

As one of the team’s newest member, Nelson is glad to show gratitude to people on the ground fighting COVID-19. Before the flyovers, she said, “It’s an opportunity for a part of me to be over the city of Atlanta even if it’s just 5 seconds”.

Passing high above her family working in the hospitals and others from her community, who are on the front lines is an experience she said she’ll cherish for the rest of her life.

“Especially people who are working in the hospitals the first responders just take five seconds to look outside as well as the local residents to look up to the sky and just kind of see a bit of inspiration, a bit of hope,” she said.

“This is almost unspeakable. This is extremely an honour to be a part of this mission,” Nelson told 11ALIVE. “Some of these individuals are my friends. They live and work in Atlanta and they’ve been working extremely hard to respond to COVID-19.”

This happens to be Captain Nelson’s first season with the Air Force Thunderbirds squadron. “People can look up and have some type of hope during this time, to know we can get through this. The Thunder Birds are with them,” Nelson said.

They have conducted flyovers across D.C., Baltimore and Atlanta to pay tribute to people battling the pandemic.

“I know a small percentage of African-American officers, specifically female officers in the Air Force. So to be in a position that is visible, to show little girls that this is attainable, to let them know they can do anything they put their mind to, is an absolute honour,” Nelson said.

Serving mostly overseas, Nelson who said her best decision was attending Howard University has spent eight years in the Air Force. She wants her time in the skies to serve as a beacon of hope and solidarity for everyone during this trying time.

Reportedly, the officer position Remoshay Nelson holds is highly selective. She is only one of 12 with the position. Since the Thunder Birds team’s inception in 1953, only 332 officers have been on the team.

“We have one life to live and so I want to do that by giving back and by showing people what is possible,” Nelson said. “Just to achieve as much as I can when I have the opportunity to do so.”

Watch her interview:

Last Edited by:Theodora Aidoo Updated: May 21, 2020


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