Merryl Tengesdal

Special guest

Retired Col. Merryl Tengesdal is the first and only African American woman to fly the U.S. Air Force U-2 “Dragon Lady” high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. As a former Naval Aviator and Air Force Combat Pilot, Tengesdal has flown over 3400 flight hours including 330 combat hours in six different rotary and fixed wing aircraft. She has been deployed worldwide supporting combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and military operations in South America, the Caribbean, and the Horn of Africa.

Tengesdal is now a motivational speaker and has a keen interest in promoting efforts to increase women and children of color in STEM. Tengesdal is also a reality television star, appearing on season 2 of the CBS show “Tough As Nails,” as a contributor for the Smithsonian Channel’s “Air Warriors”, as a commentator on PBS’s “UNLADYLIKE2020 - The Bessie Coleman Story (2020)” and, as a technical consultant to Steven Spielberg on “Bridge of Spies” (2015).

Tengesdal released her book, “Shatter the Sky” in October 2021.

Merryl Tengesdal has been a guest on 1 episode.