Nicole M. E. Malachowski

Nicole M. E. Malachowski

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Nicole M. E. Malachowski
Born September 26, 1974 (1974-09-26) (age 35)

Nickname FiFi
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1996–present
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/wars Operation Iraqi Freedom
Awards Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame
Nicole Margaret Ellingwood Malachowski[1] (born September 26, 1974) is a United States Air Force officer and the first female pilot selected to fly as part of the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Thunderbirds. Her aviator call sign is "FiFi".[2] Her first public performance was in March 2006 and she spent the 2006 and 2007 air show seasons flying the Number 3 (Right Wing) aircraft in the diamond formation. Prior to joining the USAF, Lieutenant Colonel Malachowski was a Civil Air Patrol Cadet.

Between September 1, 2008 and August 31, 2009, Malachowski was on special assignment, participating in the White House Fellows Program for the Class of 2008-2009, assigned to the General Services Administration.[3]

[edit] Early years and Education
Nicole Malachowski was born Nicole Ellingwood in Santa Maria, California, to Cathy and Robert Ellingwood.[4] In high school, she was a member of the Nevada Civil Air Patrol[5] and participated in AFJROTC, where she was rated cadet colonel, the highest rank a cadet could achieve. She started working on her pilot's license before graduating from high school.[4] She graduated from Western High School in Las Vegas in 1992.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, with a minor in French,[6] from the United States Air Force Academy, graduating 124th of 922 in the Class of 1996.[3] While at the academy she was both a pilot and cadet instructor pilot in the academy's TG-4 glider program. She also earned a Master of Arts degree from American Military University in National Security Policy.[6]

Malachowski is married to Lieutenant Colonel Paul G. Malachowski, an F-15E Weapons System Operator. The couple met while both were serving as aircrew at RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom.[4]

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