I was introduced to Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour while conducting research for an article I was writing during Women’s History Month. Vernice was among some other strong women that were highlighted as part of the Brawny, #StrengthHasNoGender, campaign.
I was so intrigued with her that I chose to do a follow-up story to learn more about her and share her incredible story with others. I think you will agree that she has a hectic life with motherhood, traveling, and running a successful business. However, she manages to maintain her core values and beliefs and stays positive through all of it. See how to juggle motherhood and business travel.
Hold True to Yourself
While growing up, Vernice’s female role models included police officers, cowgirls and female body builders. Apparently, she has always admired strong women! When asked whom she admires today, she gives her parents the credit.
Her parents taught her not to care what other people think, not to take life too seriously, have fun in life, and how to be strong and courageous. It was her father that taught her that things are not always as they seem, to think positively, and most importantly that we are all here to simply love one another. What a beautiful sentiment.
Race In America
I asked Vernice if she thought race relations are getting better or worse in America. As the first African-American female combat pilot in the Marine Corp, she did not surprise me when she felt like they were getting better. However, she does think because of the recent events that have been so publicly exposed; some people might feel as though they are getting worse.
Once again, you can tell that she comes from a steady family that taught her to value others. She believes that by valuing and respecting other’s values and beliefs that we can make race relations better. If we truly want the best for every man, woman, and child that we share this planet with, then we can all get along on this journey of life.
Women Today and in The Future
Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour has stated that the military is stronger with the ladies in it, and sees females as taking a greater role throughout the military. Recent legislation is opening up more opportunities for women including higher graduation rates from trainings such as Ranger School and the Infantry.
One of the greatest challenges for women is getting rid of the long-held beliefs held by both males and females about what women can do and accomplish. Vernice believes that women need to believe in themselves and fight collectively for causes that will benefit everyone. Fighting for equal pay includes negotiating salaries to align with your male counterparts. Not negotiating salaries impacts all women, and unfortunately, it becomes the status quo.
“FlyGirl” Invades Male-Dominated Fields
Vernice has been a combat pilot, a police officer, and a football player! Being a successful woman in male-dominated fields requires one to bring who you are with you across the threshold when you walk into whatever environment you choose. What this means is don’t try to be someone you’re not!
Being true to yourself means bringing all of your diverse aspects with you. Even though it may be more challenging; the payoff is worth it, and diversity then becomes our strength as women! Vernice believes that if it is the right environment for you, then everyone in the organization or environment will grow.
On the other hand, if the environment is not conducive to growth, then one should think about changing venues in order to create the amazing life they are meant to live. She is not saying to give up, but rather one should make every day worth living because you cannot get that day back.
Vernice As A Mom
Even the strongest among us tend to soften up as we talk about our children. Vernice is no exception. The love that came through on that question was unmistakable! Her capacity for love grows as she watches her children learn new things about their world. She loves her kids very deeply and would do anything for them.
She is not only a role model for her children and others, but she prides herself on inspiring a generation of girls to be active in STEM. She believes that nurturing girls in STEM programs is one of the most important things we can do to help keep them on the right track and believing in themselves. It is an essential task of nurturing the pipeline for our global community.
Vernice maintains a busy schedule of coaching, speaking tours, training, TV appearances, interviews, summits, and lectures. Holding the title of America’s First African-American Female Combat Pilot reminds her of the responsibility that rests on her shoulders. When moments are tough, and she needs to make a difficult decision, she says to herself, ”Stand up and be counted, because you never know who’s counting on YOU!” Check out her website to locate an event near you.
Helping Others Create A Breakthrough
Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour relates so well to others because she can connect with them through her personal stories of success and failure. She has discovered that most people want to create a breakthrough, but many just don’t know how.
She shares her stories of overcoming failures with tenacity, gutsy moves, and strength. By getting out there and speaking to people, coaching, mentoring, connecting with social media and being accessible, she feels like she gives others the strength to believe in themselves and to create the change they want to see in their lives. Get inspired by her blog.
As a college ROTC student, she remembers seeing a black woman in a flight suit. Moreover, that image planted a big seed. Maybe, just maybe, Vernice “FlyGirl” can be that seed for someone else.
I love learning about strong women. Women such as Vernice Armour, Maya Angelou, and Elizabeth Warren forge their paths, and they create positive change while maintaining their dignity, grace, and showing others respect. They do not tolerate disrespect or belittling others to achieve their goals.
Thank you for inspiring us to live our life to the fullest, to get up and persevere through our failures, and to enjoy the journey. Also, for reminding us that we must love and respect one another.