Another barrier was
broken on June 25th, as Conrol McIntosh pinned Coast Guard Wings
onto his daughter's uniform. Lt. j.g. Jeanine McIntosh, 26 has made
history and become the first black female US Coast Guard
"I'm just really honored," McIntosh said to the Caller Times,
after the winging ceremony at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.
"There's no other word for it."
McIntosh said the experience has been humbling and made her
aware that barriers still exist for blacks and women in general.
Bobby Wilks became the first black Coast Guard aviator in 1957.
Janna Lambine became the first female aviator in 1977.
The path to fulfilling her dream had some rough spots. She was
unable to pass the vision test at first because of her 20/400
vision, but photorefractive keratectomy surgery brought her vision
up to snuff.
She began her training at Corpus Christi in January and
completed it a few weeks ago. She had to overcome fear of the water
along the way to learning how to fly in the Coast Guard.
"Overcoming my fear was one of my biggest accomplishments," she
said. "Conquering so many personal struggles prepared me for the
mental drive necessary to complete the extremely challenging
Coast Guard Lt. Jason Flennoy helped McIntosh get into the
program and attended the winging ceremony.
"It's beautiful to watch her make history," Flennoy said to the
Caller Times. "One, she's an officer in the Coast Guard and two,
she's an aviator. She'd always say failure was not an option for
Several members of her family flew in for the event, including
her uncle, Michael Larrow, from Jamaica.
"Jeanine's story is one of a humble person who worked hard to
make something of herself, and we're all extremely proud," Larrow
said. "It's an inner drive that made her accomplish this dream and
I hope this will inspire the ladies to follow in her
Media reports indicate that McIntosh will continue her training
at Little Rock, Arkansas before being stationed in Hawaii.