First female Viper demo team pilot relieved of command after two weeks

The first female commander of the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team was relieved of command on Monday, exactly two weeks after she was handed the responsibility.

Air Combat Command Public Affairs Director Colonel Allen Herritage revealed that the firing took place on Monday.

“Col. Derek O’Malley, 20th Fighter Wing commander, relieved Capt. Zoe Kotnik from command Feb. 11 due to a loss of confidence in her ability to lead and command the Air Combat Command F-16 Viper demonstration team,” Herritage said. “The Viper demonstration team is working to minimize impacts on scheduled performances and looks forward to inspiring crowds around the country during the upcoming season as soon as a new commander is selected.”

According to the Air Force Times, Kotnik, who goes by the callsign “SiS,” was chosen for the position on January 29, and the USAF have declined to comment on what led to the loss of confidence.

Air Force Times had recently covered Kotnik’s new starring role with the designation team, dubbing her “the real Captain Marvel” of Marvel Universe fame. The title appeared to be based on the USAF’s recent recruiting attempt on Twitter, which depicts Kotnik in a comic book-esque way.

The Viper team is a single-ship air demo team that shows off what the Air Force can do, often flying over high-profile events.

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