Amanda Lee (pilot)

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Amanda Lee
Bornc. 1986 (age 36–37)
Mounds View, Minnesota, US
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service2007–present
UnitStrike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106
Known forBlue Angels demonstration pilot
Battles/warsOperation Inherent Resolve
AwardsFour Navy Achievement Medals
Alma materOld Dominion University

Amanda Lee (born c. 1986) is a naval aviator in the United States Navy. She was selected in June 2022 as the first female pilot in the elite Blue Angels fighter jet flight demonstration squadron.[a] Lee made her debut as the Left Wing demo pilot in the number three jet on March 11, 2023, in El Centro, California. She uses the call sign "Stalin".[1]

Early life[edit]

Lee is from Mounds View, Minnesota, and in 2004 graduated from Irondale High School in Minnesota. She competed in many sports while in high school: ice hockey, soccer, and swimming.[2] She attended the University of Minnesota Duluth and enlisted in the United States Navy. In 2007 she graduated from Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois.[3] In 2013 she graduated from Old Dominion University with a B.S. in biochemistry.[4][5]


Lee on practice day at Naval Air Station Point Mugu on March 16, 2023

After enlisting in the U.S. Navy, Lee served as an aviation electronics technician.[5] In 2013, she became a commissioned officer and started training as a naval pilot at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.[6][1] In 2016 she became a naval aviator.[5] She was then assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman to support Operation Inherent Resolve.[7] As part of her training she successfully completed 225 carrier-arrested landings and 1,400 flight hours.[2] She has four Navy Achievement Medals and other personal and unit awards.[2]

Blue Angels[edit]

In July 2022, Lieutenant Lee was announced as the first woman to join the Blue Angels as a demonstration pilot.[3][8] In September 2022 she was assigned to the "Gladiators" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, based at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia.[9][1] She flies the F/A-18E and the F/A-18F Super Hornet.[6]

Lee's first performance as the Left Wing demo pilot with the Blue Angels took place on March 11, 2023, in El Centro, California.[1] She also performed before an estimated 100,000 people at the MCAS Beaufort Airshow on May 22 and 23, 2023. She was cheered at the show on both days as she climbed into the cockpit of her number three aircraft.[10]



  1. ^ The first female pilot to join the Blue Angels was Captain Katie Higgins Cook in 2015, flying the C-130 Fat Albert transport plane.


  1. ^ a b c d De Herrera, Alan (March 30, 2023). "Historic season begins! Blue Angels pilot Amanda Lee takes to the sky". Pensacola News Journal. USA Today. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c "#3 LT Amanda Lee – USN – Left Wing" (PDF). Blue Angels. U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Blue Angels name first woman to serve as demonstration pilot". USA Today. July 18, 2022.
  4. ^ "Blue Angels name first woman to join iconic flight squadron as a pilot". CBS News. Associated Press. July 19, 2022. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  5. ^ a b c Beachum, Lateshia (July 18, 2022). "Blue Angels name first woman demonstration pilot". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  6. ^ a b Mongilio, Heather (July 18, 2022). "Blue Angels Announces First Female Jet Pilot". U.S. Naval Institute. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  7. ^ "Pilot Makes History". Florida Today. July 20, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  8. ^ Martinez, Luis (July 19, 2022). "Navy's Blue Angels to get 1st female demonstration team pilot: Lt. Amanda Lee will soon train for the 2023 air show season". abcnews. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  9. ^ Ibberson, Stuart (March 8, 2023). "Women's History Month – US Navy Blue Angels selects first female demo pilot". Aerotech News. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  10. ^ Earley, Delayna; Sofaly, Bob (April 26, 2023). "Back in Blue". The Island News. Retrieved May 26, 2023.

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