＇Sally Ride made that much of an impression on me,＇ Van Ovost said in an interview Thursday, adding that she never had the chance to meet Ride in person. ＇At the time, I was in Civil Air Patrol, and I couldn't stop talking about what the possibilities for any woman were at that point.＇
Today, Van Ovost is the Pentagon's only female four-star general, and the fifth in the Air Force's 73-year history. She's been a test pilot; commander of a refueling squadron, a training wing and an airlift wing; and the head of the C-17 Globemaster III program at the Pentagon. She has served as the vice director to the Joint Staff, among many other postings following her graduation from the Air Force Academy in 1988.
An aircraft pilot with additional training to fly and evaluate experimental, newly-produced and modified aircraft with specific maneuvers.
In the 1950s, test pilots were being killed at the rate of about one a week.