SAN DIEGO — Lt.. Taylor Forchhammer, originally from White Plains, Maryland, has served in the U.S. Navy for a decade and is currently a naval aviator with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3. Forchhammer’s service comes during a year that marks the 50th anniversary of women pilots in the Navy, highlighting her role in a lineage of women aviators making contributions to national defense.
Forchhammer, who graduated from Henry E. Lackey High School in 2013, said, “I joined the Navy because I wanted the opportunity to explore the world and break the habits of small-town culture.”
The skills and values Forchhammer learned growing up in White Plains have served her well in the Navy. “My hometown taught me a lot about diversity, exploring my options outside of what’s around me and seeking opportunities,” she noted. “No one is a better advocate for you than yourself.”
HSC 3’s primary mission involves flying and maintaining helicopters for various U.S. Navy operations, including search and rescue, air assaults, medical evacuations, supply transport, and submarine hunting. Forchhammer and her colleagues play a crucial role in the Navy’s objective to maintain maritime dominance, strengthen international partnerships, and support the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy is important to national defense because we’re the world’s greatest global force for good,” Forchhammer stated. “What we do globally helps us to look strong as a nation. We are also more versatile as a Navy. We do so many diverse missions, such as humanitarian efforts.”
The significance of a robust Navy force extends beyond national defense. With 90% of global commerce conducted by sea and the reliance of internet access on secure undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to stress the interconnectedness of the United States’ prosperity to a well-trained and resilient Navy.
As Forchhammer reflected on her proudest moments in her Navy career, she said, “My proudest accomplishment in the Navy is balancing motherhood with being a lethal military professional. Before having my son, earning my ‘wings of gold’ was the most challenging goal in my life. But being responsible for another person and having a deployable husband has given me tenacity and grit, making me a more compassionate officer.”
The Lt. is thankful for the support she has received throughout her career. “I would like to thank my parents and my husband for their endless support in all of my dreams in all the good times and the bad,” added Forchhammer. “I would also like to thank my educators who influenced my learning passion.”
This year commemorates 50 years since women first began serving as U.S. Navy pilots. The first eight women aviators entered flight school in Pensacola in 1973, and a year later, six earned their “Wings of Gold.” Today, women aviators serve in various capacities across the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, strengthening the U.S. military’s effectiveness globally.
As Forchhammer and fellow sailors continue their training and missions, they remain committed to serving their country and making a difference worldwide. “Serving in the Navy means worldwide opportunities to support democracy, freedom, and well-being for all,” she concluded.