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Rosemary Mariner in the 1990s when she was commanding officer of a squadron on the West Coast.

Rosemary Mariner, a resident scholar in the Center for the Study of War and Society and a lecturer in the Department of History from 2002 to 2016, passed away Thursday, January 24.

Rosemary Mariner in 1976 during training for an A7 aircraft.
Rosemary Mariner in 1976 during training for an A7 aircraft.

Mariner was among the first women to earn Naval Aviator wings in 1974, the first woman to fly a tactical fighter jet in 1975, and the first woman to command an aviation squadron in 1991.

Read more about Mariner: Barrier-Breaking Naval Aviator Encourages Students to Persevere, Network

The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, February 2, at Norris United Methodist Church, with funeral to follow. A funeral Mass will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Norris, with full military graveside service to follow at New Loyston Cemetery.

To honor Mariner’s life and legacy in Naval aviation, the US Navy will conduct the first ever all-female flyover at Saturday’s funeral. Officially referred to as a “Missing Man Flyover,” the tribute will be part of the service for the retired Navy captain.

Mariner’s final military assignment was as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Professor of Military Studies at the National War College.

Her research focused on evolving US military traditions, connections between republican citizenship and military service, citizen armies, and the nexus between homeland security and civil-military relations.

She edited with fellow UT faculty member G. Kurt Piehler the book The Atomic Bomb and American Society: New Perspectives (University of Tennessee Press, 2009).

Mariner also was a nationally-known expert on gender integration in the armed forces who worked as a consultant for ABC News and a commentator for National Public Radio.


Karen Dunlap (, 865-974-8674)