Terms I've searched: navy pilots, naval aviators, female navy helicopter pilot, female combat pilots and many more along these lines.
I have a present-day character in her early to mid-forties who is about to retire from the United States Navy. I would like for her to be a helicopter pilot, but she could be a fighter pilot if the requirements I have fit a fighter pilot better.
I need her to have spent much--or even most--of the last ten years deployed away from her family, and in active combat as much as possible. She doesn't have to be doing the fighting. She could be a medevac pilot or some such but I'd like her to have done multiple long tours. She also doesn't need to have been at sea on a carrier--she can be stationed anywhere she might see combat.
She's basically a star pilot--best in her unit (squadron?) and always has been. She's married with one teenage son, and one teenage stepson. When she is not deployed she lives with them somewhere in the greater Washington D.C. area.
My questions are these: What is her background? I'm thinking she went to the Naval Academy and served in Desert Storm. Is this likely? What is her probable rank? Commander? Lt. Commander? And what kind of typical missions might she be flying? How long would her typical deployments be, and how many can I realistically give her? If she's a helicopter pilot is she still based on an aircraft carrier? What kinds of aircraft might she be flying? When she's in the United States would she be working out of a Naval base? Any ideas which one (since she's in the D.C. area)? What is her command structure like overseas and at home?
My pilot can have any kind of background at all, as long as she's in the Navy, has seen a lot of military action, and has spent a great deal of time deployed overseas away from her family. I'd really appreciate any background details you can help me fill in--especially about what her military resume might look like. Any personal stories you have would be wonderful.
And since information on *female* pilots is somewhat hard to find, do the experiences of male pilots overlap these days? At least in terms of length of deployment, types of missions, rank, and craft flown?
Thank you so much! You guys are amazing.