Transcript for Soaring With the First Woman Fighter Jet Commander
where the sky is only the limit. Abc's martha raddatz has been in war zones with four-star generals, covered the white house and questioned world leaders and presidents. And, of course, tomorrow she'll be moderating the first vice presidential debate tomorrow night. But right now, she's going to take us to meet one of america's most daring combat experts. The woman just named the first female leader of a fighter wing, 5,000 strong. Reporter: It is one of the most fearsome fighter jets in the skies -- the f-15 strike eagle. And I could not be in more capable hands. Colonel jeannie flynn leavitt is not only a decorated fighter pilot, she has broken through gender barriers few thought possible. He said, you realize you will be the first and there will be some attention. And I said, well, I don't want the attention. But I want to fly fighters more than anything. Reporter: That was more than 20 years ago when she entered a world dominated by male swagger. T plaque for that alternates is down in the ladies' room. Reporter: That attitude was not just in movies like "top gun." Pentagon brass argued male bonding was critical. If you want to make a combat uniineffective, assign some women to it. Reporter: But like it or not, they were ordered to change. Since then, the 46-year-old leavitt has logged more than 2,700 hours, 300 in combat over iraq and afghanistan, dropping bombs on enemy targets and avoiding enemy fire. Leavitt now trains others for combat, commanding a 5,000 member fighter wing. This day, a mock bombing raid in the skies over north carolina. What the jets do first is show a force what they would do if this was a real battle. The changes with women flying combat aircraft? 'S pilots with all skill levels. Reporter: Girls don't stand out anymore. It's very true. Reporter: And the colonel and others have inspired a new generation. Regardless of your gender, i think everyone's going to look up to her. Everyone does look up to her. You know, gender, race, religion -- none of that matters. What matters is how you perform. Reporter: And she has performed. One of the best of the best. So, take that, maverick. Martha raddatz, abc news,. And another reminder.
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