CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – The path to becoming a U.S. Army pilot is
extensive. Soldiers can enlist and serve first, or they can jump
into training to become a commissioned or warrant officer before
heading to flight school. The process can take 18 months or more.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rebekah M. Wottge went to training
right away to become a pilot. She first completed basic combat
training, then warrant officer candidate school. After those, she
completed training many pilots need, such as survival, evasion,
resistance, and escape (SERE) training and dunker training where
soldiers learn how to escape from an aircraft submerged in water,
and she how to fly the apache.
March 26, 2015 - Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rebekah M. Wottge, B Co., 4-501st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion Apache helicopter pilot, is one of the few female Apache pilots deployed with the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade. She has flown over 100 hours in Kuwait so far. (Minnesota Army National Guard photo by Spc. Jess Nemec)
Wottge is an AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot with B
Company, 4-501st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion. She has
been in the U.S. Army for three years and with B Co. since
September 2013. Prior to serving in the Army, she served six
years in the British Army with explosive ordnance disposal.
“I've always had an interest since I was a kid in
She grew up all over the world, she
said. She lived in South America, the Middle East, and
England. Her family has a background in working with oil,
which is the reason for moving around so much.
military lifestyle is definitely for me,” Wottge said. “I
love the Army, I love flying apaches.” Her deployment with
the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade to Kuwait is her first as a
“I've learned a lot out here,” Wottge said
about her current deployment. “I learn something every day,
every time [I] fly.”
Wottge currently has over 100
flight hours in Kuwait.
“She was the only female
attack helicopter pilot to fly during the Qatar National
Day,” Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher Langston, B Co.,
4-501st instructor pilot.
Wottge's next goal is to
become a pilot in command, she said. As a pilot in command
she will have the opportunity to fly almost every day and be
in charge of the aircraft.
challenging,” she said about flying. There is a lot of
When she returns to the
states she'd like to get her fixed-wing aircraft license
outside of the Army, she said.
The process from
enlisting to becoming a warrant officer pilot took Wottge
approximately 18 months to complete, she said. Her advice to
anyone wanting to take the same path is, “If you put your
mind and your heart to it you can achieve what you really
want to. It takes a lot of work, a lot of commitment, but if
you put the effort in and really want it you can get it.”
By U.S. Army Spc. Jess Nemec
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