"I'm not fragile like a flower, I'm fragile like a bomb,"

  • Published
  • By Captain Melanie Irons
  • Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

When I first came to the 23rd, I was the only female in my squadron. 

I was worried I wouldn’t fit in or be accepted. 

I have the privilege of watching more and more Baronesses trickle in to the 23rd Bomb Squadron as each class graduates out of the follow-on training course in Barksdale, Louisiana as new Electronic Warfare Officers and navigators.

I watched as the squadron grew from these strong, confident, and talented women whom I am so grateful to call my colleagues.

But despite these changes, I still often look around and notice I’m the only female in a crowded room.

In those times when I feel alone, or maybe my voice doesn’t project as loudly as the men, I find strength from women who helped us get to where we are by breaking boundaries.

Women such as Elizabeth Gardner, a Woman Air Force Service Pilot aviator who flew the Martin B-26.

Also, Minot alum like Kimberly “Nike” Rigby who helped write the new female hair regulations, and Test Pilot School graduate Christin “Sparta” Hart.

It’s these women who remind me that “I’m not fragile like a flower, I’m fragile like a bomb”- Frida Kahlo.