The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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Oceana Air Show celebrates women in naval aviation

Civil Air Patrol cadets get ready to march onto the flight line as flag bearers for the Oceana Air Show’s opening parade on Sept. 16, 2023.

The annual NAS Oceana Air Show took place from Sept. 15- 17 at the Oceana Naval Base. This year, the air show spotlighted females for the 50th anniversary of women in naval aviation.

“This is great, but we need to do it more,” said Blue Angel pilot Amanda Lee. 

Petty Officer Third Class Summer Lavin agrees.

“We need more, and there couldn’t be enough,” said Lavin.

In 1974, six women deemed “The First Six,” earned their “Wings of Gold” after a year at flight school in Pensacola, Fla. Since then, the number of women in naval aviation has gradually increased. 

Today, approximately seven to 12% of naval aviators are women, according to This is a significant increase from before, but is still unequal to the number of men who dominate this sector. As a result, women face certain roadblocks during their military journeys. 

Petty Officer Third Class Jose Zagalreyes noticed that there is both higher expectations and more pressure on women. 

“If you’re a woman, you have to be better than all the men,” said Lavin. “They feel intimidated, so you need to prioritize you because no one else will.”

During the air show, senior Shea Lickfold represented Ocean Lakes as she was in charge of public affairs. She joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in 2021 to follow her childhood dream of serving in the military. According to Shea, her experience as an Ocean Lakes athlete has helped her immensely in her CAP journey. 

Shea has been swimming for OL since she was a freshman and claims that one particular phrase from her swim coach, Laura Eldredge, has stuck with her since.

“Coach Eldredge said to me, ‘excuses only make the person giving them feel better,’” said Shea.

According to Shea, she applies this quote to CAP by not letting excuses hold her back from doing the best she can. 

“I hold my cadets to the same standard and I don’t let them make excuses,” said Shea. “Being part of CAP has made me a more confident person.”

Today, Shea is a Cadet Chief Master Sergeant and the only female flight commander in the squadron. 

“Be the girl kicking down the door and leading by example,” said Shea. 

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About the Contributor
Mahi Sakharpe, Staff Writer
Mahi Sakharpe is a freshman in the Math and Science Academy and a first-year journalist for The Current. She has been writing her whole life, which led to her being published five times. She loves swimming, surfing and learning languages (seven so far). Aside from journalism, she is involved in Model UN and debate. Outside of school, she is a flight sergeant in the Civil Air Patrol. Her dream is to work at NASA and make humans an interplanetary species. Her goal this year is to write a diverse array of award-winning articles for The Current.

Comments (3)

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  • V

    VSOct 4, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    Absolutely amazing. May you continue the Pursuit of Excellence and touch the Sky with Glory

  • S

    SanjivaniOct 3, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    Well done Mihika .Well written article .Keep it up .

  • N

    NandiniOct 3, 2023 at 8:44 am

    Very well written.