Vernice Armour Headshot

Vernice Armour

Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour is America’s first Black female combat pilot, an entrepreneur, an author, and a keynote speaker known for motivating audiences to Get Gutsy.

Meet Vernice Armour

Combat tests you. Being a beat cop tests you. Life tests you. Three brothers and being the only girl…tests you. Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour has been tested her whole life. A gutsy trailblazer, her resume is an impressive collection of “firsts,” including America’s first Black female combat pilot. Vernice Armour is available to be booked for corporate and private events. She is also well-known for his keynote and motivational speaking. Contact the Mollie Plotkin Group today to inquire about Vernice Armour’s fees.

Want to book Vernice Armour for an event?

Contact the Mollie Plotkin Group at 215-510-6607 to book Vernice Armour for corporate or private events, keynote speeches, workshops, fireside chats, motivational speaking, or virtual appearances. Our agency will work directly with your organization and our keynote speakers to create an unforgettable event.

The Mollie Plotkin Group is the leading keynote speakers agency and entertainment bureau bringing excitement to audiences, clients, and employees. We represent subject-matter experts in every possible field, so whether we’re your partner in creating a memorable meeting, or your meeting planner’s secret weapon in securing the perfect keynote speaker, we’re in this with you.


In 1993, Vernice Armour enlisted in the Army Reserves and joined the Army ROTC program while at Middle Tennessee State University. After seeing the image of a young Black female in an Army flight suit during an Army ROTC career day, the idea of becoming a pilot was planted in Vernice’s mind. 

In June of 1996, after a brief stint as a Nashville Sheriff’s Department correctional officer, Vernice took a break from college to accept an invitation to the Nashville Police Academy. She graduated in December 1996 and later became the 1st woman of color on the Nashville Police Department’s motorcycle squad. After graduating from MTSU in December of 1997 and earning a B.S. in Physical Education with an Exercise Science concentration, Vernice chose to pursue her passion of becoming a military pilot.

FlyGirl is Born

With the aviation seed in full bloom, Vernice was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps on December 12th, 1998. In short, she was on her way to flight school. When Vernice ultimately earned her wings in July 2001, she ranked No. 1 in her class and the last 200 students to graduate. She made the Naval Air Station’s prestigious Commodore’s List, received the Academic Achievement Award, and went on to make history as the Marine Corps’ 1st African American female pilot. 

After flight school, Vernice was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton near San Diego, CA, piloting the AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter. While there, she was Camp Pendleton’s “Female Athlete of the Year” and two-time title winner in their “Strongest Warrior” Competition. 

Service in Iraq

Then in 2003, she was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. That deployment led the Department of Defense to recognize Vernice as America’s first African American female combat pilot. In Iraq, Vernice flew above the deserts in her missile-equipped attack helicopter, engaging the enemy and scouting the roads from her cockpit, to ensure the safety of her fellow Marines and soldiers on the ground. While in the military, Vernice was also a diversity liaison officer to the Pentagon for Marine Corps Headquarters.

Post-Military Career

After the completion of two tours in Iraq, FlyGirl revved up her career in the private sector as an entrepreneur, consultant to business, and author of Zero to Breakthrough. In 2007, FlyGirl launched VAI Consulting & Training, LLC. Through that work, she helps individuals and organizations make gutsy moves and create breakthrough results by applying her Zero to Breakthrough™ Success Model – a mindset that helped propel her career and kept her safe in air combat. Currently, she is writing her next book, The Gutsy Move as she manages her business career and daughter Noah…her gutsiest move yet.

As a Black gay woman and single mom, FlyGirl also brings vital experience to her role as a member of the Forbes School of Business & Technology Board of Advisors and the COMCAST/NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council. 

Vernice Armour Keynote Speaking

As a speaker, FlyGirl unleashes hard-hitting advice and amazing anecdotes from her adventures on the battlefield and in business. She helps individuals and organizations “Get Gutsy” and build a sustainable conviction that yields significant success. FlyGirl regularly takes her message to premier meetings and conferences worldwide and is a Gutsy Confidence Mentor for elite senior executive Women in Tech. Among keynote speakers with a military background, Vernice Armour is one of the best that organizations can hire.

How to Hire Vernice Armour

Find out how to hire Vernice Armour to appear at your next event. Contact the Mollie Plotkin Group to inquire about Vernice Armour’s availability and cost. When booking Vernice Armour for an event, we need to know the type of venue and location the event will take place. Vernice Armour is a popular choice for corporate events, private events, and virtual events. So, you can click the Check Availability button or contact us and an MPG Vernice Armour booking agent will get back to you within 48 hours.

Vernice Armour Booking Price

How much to book Vernice Armour depends on the type of event. So, the cost to hire Vernice Armour for corporate or private events is available by contacting a Mollie Plotkin Group Agent. Notably, Vernice Armour is available for conferences, festivals, private parties, and events. Just contact the Mollie Plotkin Group and tell the booking agent the proposed date, time, and location.

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Fill out the form to find out when Vernice Armour is available.

Upcoming Engagements

Our speakers are in high demand! View their upcoming events.

Jun 17 - 20 2024

Kinexions 24 Annual Conference – Keynote Speaker Lisa Bodell – Miami, Florida

JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa
Jun 22 - 23 2024

Atlanta Women’s Expo 2024 – Keynote Speaker Laila Ali – Atlanta, GA

Gas South Convention Center
Jun 24 - 27 2024

HFMA Annual Conference 2024 – Keynote Speaker Suneel Gupta – Las Vegas, NV

Mandalay Bay Convention Center
No event found!

Key Audience Takeaways

One Mission – One Goal – One Team

Gutsy Leaders create Gutsy Teams that make Gutsy Moves. They’re proactive – not reactive. In fact, they create the future by summoning the courage to adapt and align. Drawing on her trailblazing career as a U.S. Marine combat helicopter pilot, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour unloads valuable lessons learned under the most stressful of circumstances – about leadership, teamwork, resilience, communication, execution, and building a culture of unshakable trust. FlyGirl’s storytelling lights up people’s imaginations – showing them new ways to achieve more than they ever thought possible.

Key Takeaways

  • How to build trust: Get everyone to step up, engage, and collaborate.
  • Get personal: Learn each person’s skills, talents & hidden passions.
  • Ways to unleash your diversity to strengthen the bottom line.
  • Disrupt traditional metrics of success (measure more than money).
  • Learn when to plant and when to pivot to adapt at speed.
  • Create a culture that attracts and retains the best talent.


Who Needs a Runway? Take Off From Where You Are

Helicopter pilots spring into action from where they are. They don’t need a runway. It’s their edge in battle. Marine chopper pilot Vernice believes this metaphor is perfect for uncertain times where speed and agility are survival skills. FlyGirl fires up audiences with her energy and storytelling – relating hard-learned lessons with tactics for quickly adapting to the forces of change. This presentation is perfect for audiences navigating uncertainty or looking to accomplish audacious goals.

Key Takeaways

  • Recognize and take decisive action to capitalize on defining moments.
  • No situation is ever perfect – gain momentum from where you are.
  • The three-step plan: Decide, Commit, and Execute…at speed.
  • Recognize and harness the talents of everyone around you.
  • How to create a “Zero to Breakthrough” culture.


Get Gutsy – Harness a Breakthrough Mindset

How you react to personal and professional obstacles, adversity, and disappointment is a choice. It also determines your future. Black, female, gay, and a child of divorce, Vernice learned this early in her pioneering journey from motorcycle cop to America’s first Black female combat pilot. FlyGirl’s energy rocks the house as she recounts for audiences her challenges, adventures, and ultimate triumph. Her authenticity, enthusiasm, and positivity inspire people to Get Gutsy and finally reimagine what’s possible.

Key Takeaways

  • 7-step process to shatter limiting beliefs and unleash breakthroughs.
  • Replace a self-defeating “Zero Mentality” with a winning “Breakthrough Mentality.”
  • How to avoid burnout and keep moving forward.
  • Delay is not Denial, and Retreat does not mean Defeat.
  • Tactics to ignite your passion and design the path to your dreams.


A New Conversation: Actively Transforming a Company, Culture, and Country

It’s time! This is about coming together – working to create an equitable culture for employees, stakeholders, and customers. A place where ALL can feel like they belong and are part of the team. It starts by establishing rules of engagement for civil, productive conversations that find solutions – not fault. Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour was a diversity officer for U.S. Marine Corps HQ; its liaison to the Pentagon. As a gay Black woman, she brought valuable personal experience to her work. She learned that when you bring people together, their differences can result in tension…THIS IS NORMAL! How you MANAGE that diversity is the key!

Key Takeaways

  • Create a culture that values and respects all team members.
  • Why it’s time to turn THE Conversation into a NEW Conversation.
  • Ways to face uncomfortable issues without playing ostrich.
  • How to prevent a counter-productive herd mentality.
  • Set an example of civility and motivate people to respond in kind.

Client Testimony for Vernice Armour


Zero to Breakthrough Vernice Armour Book Cover

Zero to Breakthrough: The 7-Step, Battle-Tested Method for Accomplishing Goals that Matter

Before she was thirty years old, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour had become a decorated naval aviator, Camp Pendleton’s 2001 Female Athlete of the Year and Strongest Warrior winner, the first female African-American on Nashville’s motorcycle police squad, and a member of the San Diego Sunfire professional women’s football team. She’s a force to be reckoned with, and she believes that women and men from all walks of life have the potential to achieve the highest levels of success with the right flight plan. In Zero to Breakthrough, Vernice turns aspiration into action by revealing how to create the path that will get you out of your rut on onto the runway – cleared for take off.

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