Aerospace Professionals In Schools Director
Captain, Airbus 320 American Airlines
Rear Admiral, USN, Retired
OBAP Member since 2002
Aerospace Professionals in Schools Director
American Airlines - Captain
OBAP Member Since 2002
Linda Wackerman grew up in Miami, Florida. She is a graduate from Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado with a B.S. in Aerospace Science, M.A. with Pennsylvania State University in Homeland Security, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI alumni. She started flying at the age of 13 and continued in college where she obtained her commercial/instrument and flight instructor ratings. She joined the Navy after college graduation and completed Aviation Officer Candidate School. She completed Flight School and was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1987.
Her Navy active duty tours include HC-3, the Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS); and fleet tour assignment with HC-11, NASNI, California flying the H-46D and deployed to WESTPAC as one of the first group of women to sea working in Maintenance and Operations. Wackerman was assigned to shore duty with VT-6 and the Instructor Training Unit, NAS Whiting Field, Florida instructing flight training in the T-34C Mentor and working in Operations. Her Full-Time Support (FTS) officer duty assignments were both as pilot and instructor pilot at NAS JRB Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, as the Assistant Reserve Program Director for 2,300 reservists and flying and instructing in the UC-12B; and VR-52, flying, instructing, and standardization evaluator for all pilot instructors in the C-9B/DC-9, a squadron providing worldwide fleet logistics support around the clock, and around the world where she served as the Operations Officer and Maintenance Officer along with Safety, Training, NATOPS, and Administrative Department Head duties.
Wackerman then became a Selected Reservist (SELRES) with VR-52 in June 1999 where she eventually became the Executive Officer and the Commanding Officer of VR-52. Subsequent SELRES tours include training officer of Navy Reserve Capabilities Assessment Unit (OPNAV N8) in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. She served as the Commanding Officer for Navy Reserve, Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic, Region Operations Center (ROC) in Norfolk, Virginia. She then served as Commanding Officer, Navy Reserve, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Operations and Planning N3/N5 unit in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. She was assigned as Navy Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer (NEPLO) for the state of Pennsylvania and Deputy Commander for the NEPLO Program at Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) in Washington, D.C. She then served as the Commander, NR CNIC NEPLO leading the NEPLO Program; and Chief of Staff for the WNY Shooting in Washington, D.C.
Her flag assignments included Reserve Deputy Director, Capabilities and Assessment Division, OPNAV N81; Deputy, Naval Inspector General; and Deputy Commander USNAVSO and FOURTH Fleet. She retired from the Navy in Oct 2018. She continues to serve on Secretary Defense’s Reserve Force Policy Board as the Navy Representative in Washington DC and continues to mentor kids and adults everywhere for the airline industry, the Navy, Navy Reserve, and Naval Aviation.
Rear Admiral Wackerman’s personal military decorations include the Legion of Merit (4th Award), Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2nd award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3rd award). She was selected as 2005 Federal Women and 1995 NAS JRB Willow Grove Women of the Year. She was selected as Pennsylvania State University World Campus Outstanding Graduate Alumni Award for 2021.
She currently serves as an Airbus 320 International Captain with American Airlines where she has accumulated over 5,400 military and almost 9,000 civilian flight hours. She also served as a Captain and First Officer on 757/767 and First Officer on MD-80 at American Airlines. She serves as a Lead Facilitator for American’s Disrupting Everyday Bias (DEB), and Pilot Culture Advantage (PCA). Additionally, she serves as a volunteer on APA’s Professional Standards National Committee, Chair of Work Place Culture Ad Hoc Committee, Co-Chair the Inclusion and Diversity Ad Hoc Committee, and helps out the Military Affairs Committee. She currently serves as the Aerospace Professionals in Schools (APIS) Assistant Director for the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP); a Board Member for Pennsylvania State University, Homeland Security Advisory Council; an Executive Board Member for the Boy Scouts of America, Washington Crossing Council; and Executive Board Member for the YMCA of Bucks County (and Co-Chairs their Diversity, Inclusion and Global Engagement committee). She runs the U.S. Naval Academy candidate interviews for Congressmen Brian Fitzpatrick. She is married to another fellow retired Naval Aviator and is the proud mother of four incredible children.
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