FORT HALL — U.S. Marine Capt. Anneliese Satz, a descendant of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the first woman to fly F-35B jets in the Marine Corps, was honored by the Tribes for her service.
Satz and her husband Anthony Pompei, who also serves in the Marines, both received a certificate of achievement and recognition, which was presented to them by the Fort Hall Business Council in Fort Hall on Wednesday.
The couple, who met in the military, is currently serving together and flies the same aircraft in Japan, where they’ve been stationed for about two years. Satz, 31, joined the military in 2014.
Satz is not a member of the Tribes, but her mother, Tzó-Nah, was born and raised among the Sho-Bans in Fort Hall. While Tzó-Nah has since moved to Boise, she is still a member of the Tribes and has property and family in Fort Hall.
“We were both crying. It’s very powerful,” Tzó-Nah said of herself and her sister, who was sitting next to her during the ceremony honoring her daughter. “I didn’t expect all of this. I thought they would just make mention of Anneliese. It’s amazing.”
The Tribes, in addition to the certificates, gifted Satz and her husband a cake and a tribal flag. Lee Juan Tyler, who is a member of the FHBC and also a military veteran, sang the couple a war journey song during the ceremony.
Tzó-Nah, a physicist and astrophysicist by training, recalled a time when her daughter was about 4 years old and she looked up at a helicopter in the sky and asked her mother, “How does it stay up?”
Now Satz is a military pilot and became the first woman to fly an F-35B jet, an aircraft that’s unique for its vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, in the Marine Corps.
FHBC Chairman Devon Boyer said it was important for the council to honor Satz and Pompei because they want to make sure to recognize their efforts. Boyer said he and the other council members hope they both come home safe and continue making the Tribes proud.
While Satz’s job has taken her across the country over the years and to her post in Japan now, she said Idaho will always be home. She returns to see her family here at least once a year.
When it comes to other women following in her footsteps, Satz said she feels good about the future of women in aviation.
“The aviation community has never really been that divisive when it comes to different gender capabilities because a plane is a plane and it doesn’t care who’s piloting it,” she said. “But you’ll find that that’s not necessarily the feeling when it comes to other jobs, such as combat roles. I hope they can find that same inclusivity in combat roles. Unfortunately, they’ve got a long ways to go for that.”