Black fighter pilot overcomes childhood doubts, serves in the sky

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tristan Truesdell
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force Capt. Gerrod Smith, 36th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, poses for a photo at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 16, 2022. Smith joined the Air Force as a judge advocate, believing it was the highest path he could become as a Black Airman. After trying out a flight simulator at a nearby National Guard installation and receiving compliments on his natural talent, he pursued his childhood aspirations and eventually became a pilot in the most competitive field: fighter jets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tristan Truesdell)