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Behind the Wings ®
The Podcast – S2, Episode 19

“Those barriers that drive you to fight for what you really want to achieve- those are the barriers worth breaking” Tracy LaTourrette

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This episode will dive into the story of Tracy “JackieO” LaTourrette, Colorado’s first lady fighter pilot. LaTourrette graduated from the United States Air Force Academy before women were even authorized to fly combat aircraft. After working in the back of an AWACS aircraft, she moved to a window seat, becoming one of the first female fighter pilots in the Air Force and flew the F-16 Fighting Falcon, earning numerous accolades for her skill and leadership.
LaTourrette flew direct Presidential protection missions and in a classified location for Operation Iraqi Freedom. “JackieO” is known for breaking barriers, from the sound barrier to beyond. This one’s going to be cool!
Key Takeaways:
  • Tracy LaTourrette retired after 22 years while serving as the Deputy Director of Operations at the Colorado National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters.
  • Tracy flew F-16s. She has over 3,300 combined flying hours as a pilot and AWACS Air Weapons director. Her call sign is “JackieO”.
  • Post 9-11 “JackieO” flew direct Presidential protection missions and flew in a classified location for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • Tracy is a highly sought-after international speaker and executive consultant for Fortune 100 companies, associations and more. Her interactive workshops and executive consulting are second to none.
  • Tracy is a married mother of three and grew up in Evergreen, CO. Her husband is also an F-16 pilot.
  • Tracy will be the host of a Behind the Wings PBS episode all about the F-35.
Quotes:
  • “Those barriers that drive you to fight for what you really want to achieve- those are the barriers worth breaking. Not all barriers are worth breaking.”
  • “Find what inspires you- what really fires you up. It may not be the thing everyone around you tells you you’re good at or tells you that you should be pursuing. Sometimes it’s something completely out of the left field. IF we allow ourselves the space- the quiet- to search inside for what really matters to use then we will find the thing we are truly willing to fight for.”
  • “It took me awhile to find that dream inside of myself, but once I identified that I wanted to break the sound barrier then the path became crystal clear. The sacrifices I was willing to make along the way became crystal clear because I knew where I was going.”
  • “Don’t shy away from doing the hard thing. Face it.”
  • “I’m so glad I pursued greatness because it gave me options.”

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