Brigadier General Jeannie Flynn Leavitt became the United States Air Force's first female fighter pilot in 1993, and was the first woman to command a USAF combat fighter wing. She earned her commission as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program in 1992 and entered the U.S. Air Force. She then began her Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laughlin AFB, TX. While she was being trained as a T-38 instructor pilot at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX, in April 1993 Defense Secretary Les Aspin ordered the services to drop restrictions on women flying combat missions. In July 1993, 1st Lt Leavitt began the F-15E Formal Training Course at 555th Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, AZ, and upon completing the course in April 1994, became the service's first female fighter pilot. She went on to become the first female to graduate from the elite Air Force Weapons School, where she later became an instructor.
Colonel Leavitt is a Command Pilot with more than 3000 hours in the F-15E, which includes 300 combat hours. Her operational experiences include Operations Southern Watch; Northern Watch; Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. During one mission in Operation Southern Watch in 1996, then-Captain Leavitt supported a Royal Air Force Tornado GR1 under threat from an Iraqi Roland surface-to-air missile. She has served as Commander of the 333d Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and as Deputy Commander of the 455th Operations Group at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. She was the Chief of Special Technical Operations at United States Forces Korea and the Chief of Master Air Attack Plans at United States Central Command Air Forces. She was a student at the National War College and a Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) Fellow.
In June 2012, Col Leavitt achieved another 'first' when she became the first woman to take command of an Air Force combat fighter wing; the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, NC. In her current assignment, Brig Gen Leavitt is the 57th Wing Commander at Nellis Air Force Base, NV. She is responsible for 34 squadrons at 13 installations constituting the Air Force's most diverse flying wing. The wing flies and maintains more than 130 aircraft.