Lt Col Christine Mau to Receive the Katherine & Marjorie Stinson Trophy

Lt Col Christine A. Mau, a U.S. Air Force Pilot, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Katherine and Marjorie Stinson Trophy.

The Stinson Trophy was created in 1997 by NAA to honor the accomplishments of two sisters – Katherine and Marjorie Stinson. These sisters were among the first 11 American women to be certified as airplane pilots through the Aero Club of America (the predecessor of NAA). Their flying school helped numerous U.S. and foreign pilots to earn their Aero Club licenses, the precursor to FAA pilot certificates. The trophy recognizes a living person for “…an outstanding and enduring contribution to the role of women in the field of aviation, aeronautics, space, or related sciences.”

Mau is being recognized for “…dedicating over 19 years as an Air Force officer, imparting her wisdom and knowledge to a wide spectrum of Americans interested in aeronautics, and blazing a path for women in aviation.”

Mau graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and was commissioned as an officer in 1997. She earned her pilot wings and was selected as a Distinguished Graduate at Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training. Mau was one of only four women among over 300 male student pilots in her training program. In the summer of 2000, Mau reported to her first duty station, RAF Lakenheath, England and soon thereafter she was selected for her first deployment to Kuwait.

After a three-year assignment at Lakenheath, Mau reported to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina, where she became an instructor pilot at the F-15E “schoolhouse” teaching young pilots to employ the aircraft while also working with struggling students on special monitoring status to ensure their success. She served as the base’s airshow director of aerial operations, leading a team of 90 people to coordinate 37 performances and 42 static displays. Additionally, Mau volunteered as one of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault and Prevention Victim Advocates, dedicating her time to helping and counseling victims.

During her next assignment at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Mau was instrumental in executing the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s vision in standing up a new surface-to-air threat squadron. She was handpicked as a key member to develop this new capability and validate it during the Air Force’s most strenuous training events.

Mau was then transferred to Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho where she served as the wing commander’s director of staff, and as the director of operations for a fighter squadron that trains Singaporean aircrews to fly their version of the F-15E. During this tour, Mau deployed to Afghanistan, where she flew and achieved a historic first: leading the Air Force’s first all-female flight on a combat mission. The flight, given the callsign “Dudette 07”, was published in several national news outlets and inspired scores of young women to pursue a career in aviation. Due to her performance at Mountain Home, Mau was selected as one of less than 2% of Air Force officers chosen to be a squadron commander.

Mau returned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and took command of the 4th Operations Support Squadron in 2013 where she was responsible for 285 men and women, and the daily operational execution of the airfield. She also oversaw over $58 million in airfield construction projects and enhancements, and directed one of the Air Force’s largest joint exercises.

Given her outstanding work in command at Seymour Johnson, Mau was handpicked as the 33rd Operations Group’s deputy commander and selected as the world’s first female F-35 pilot. In the summer of 2015, she reported to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida to assume this new high-profile position. In her new role, Mau has gone above and beyond her normal duties, testing modifications to aircrew flight equipment that accommodate gender differences and championing them through the requirements and acquisition processes. She also excels as an instructor pilot in the F-35, training pilots to employ this cutting-edge aircraft.

In addition to her normal duties, Lt Col Mau has become a tireless advocate for the U.S. Air Force and specifically for women in aviation. Recently, she starred in “Journey to Normal: Women of War Come Home”, a documentary which recounts the story of women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and explores the psychological and social dynamics of women in combat. She is also involved with the Women’s Air Service Pilots (WASP), FlyGirls, and the Girl Scouts of America.

Members of the Selection Committee were Leda Chong, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, NAA Board of Directors; Joni Kelsey, 2015 Stinson Trophy Recipient; Deborah Jean Rihn-Harvey, Aerobatic Pilot, Harvey & Rihn Aviation; and Dr. Marina Ruggles-Wrenn, 2014 Stinson Trophy Recipient.

The Stinson Trophy will be presented at an NAA Luncheon on April 20, 2017 in Arlington, VA.