"Can You Shake the Sticks?": An Army Helicopter Pilot on the Evolving Landscape for Military Women

Tanya (Tolles) Estes


LTC Tanya Estes branched Aviation after graduating from USMA in 1995, and became an AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot. She did a tour in Korea, ran an airfield in Kuwait that supported operations in Iraq, and served as an instructor pilot before returning to USMA to teach in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In this interview, she discusses her initial interest in aviation, her training and operational experiences as a pilot, the challenges she faced as one of the few women in her field, her recollections of 9-11, and her views on gender issues at West Point and in the Army.


conflicts Iraq War
topics Women in Service Courage
interviewer Mark Frankel
date 11 February 2015


name Tanya (Tolles) Estes
institution USMA
graduation year 1995
service Army
unit 164th Theater Aviation Operations Group
specialty Aviation
service dates 1995