Commissioned a Second Lieutenant on December 12, 1998 Armour was sent to flight school at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas and later Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. Earning her wings in July 2001, Armour was not only number one in her class of twelve, she was number one among the last two hundred graduates. She became the Marine Corps' first female African-American pilot.
After flight school, Armour was assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton near San Diego, California for training in the AH-1W SuperCobra. While at Camp Pendleton, she was named 2001 Female Athlete of the Year, twice won the Camp's annual Strongest Warrior Competition, and was a running back for the San Diego Sunfire women's football team.
In March 2003, she flew with HMLA-169 during the invasion of Iraq becoming the Marine Corps' first African-American female combat pilot. She completed two combat tours in the Gulf. Afterwards, she was assigned to the Manpower and Reserve Affairs Equal Opportunity Branch as program liaison officer.
Leaving the Marine Corps in June 2007, Armour began a career as a motivational speaker.
|Air Medal with Bronze Star, 13 Strike Flight awards and Combat "V"|
|Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal|
|Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal|
|Presidential Unit Citation with one Bronze Star|
|National Defense Service Medal|
|Iraq Campaign Medal|
|Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Medal|
|Sea Service Deployment Ribbon|
1st female combat pilot coming home; Vernice Gwendolyn Armour looking forward to coming home to Chicago, mom's cooking, and seeing relatives
Sep 22, 2003; In Kuwait for the past eight months, Chicagoan Vernice Gwendolyn Armour, the first Black female Marine Pilot and the first combat...