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Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour            

America’s First Black Female Combat Pilot, Former Marine & Cop; Author of "Zero to Breakthrough”; and Consultant to Business

Former combat pilot, former police officer, and world-renowned keynote speaker, Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour has been featured on OPRAH, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and others and presented to hundreds of organizations including Walmart, Bank of America, Shell, T-Mobile.

With her inspirational leadership keynotes and consulting, "FlyGirl" commands corporate and Tech-centric executive audiences across the globe, "FlyGirl"’s most requested keynotes are: A NEW Conversation, Rules of Engagement, Gutsy Moves, and Something Good’s Gonna Come Outta THIS!

Whether on stage as a keynote speaker or beyond the podium in a fully customized consulting engagement, Armour advises, facilitates, and helps navigate during these unprecedented times.

Leveraging her Get Gutsy mindset, Armour propelled herself from beat cop to combat pilot in a record-breaking three years and became America’s First African American Female Combat Pilot.

A Tennessee native and graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, "FlyGirl" holds two honorary doctorates, was a Diversity Liaison Officer to the Pentagon for Headquarters Marine Corps and is a member of the COMCAST/NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council. She has received numerous awards as a pioneering pilot, including her commanding role in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). She was the Marine Corps’ first African American Female pilot, first African American woman on the Nashville Police Department’s motorcycle squad, a Camp Pendleton Female Athlete of the Year, two-time titleholder in their Strongest Warrior Competition, and a running back for the women’s professional football team, the San Diego ‘Sunfire.’

She is working on her next book, "The Gutsy Move," and her signature book, "Zero to Breakthrough" was published in 2011.

Speech Topics

Zero to Breakthrough: How a Breakthrough Mentality Creates Breakthrough Results!

The constrictions of a "Zero Mentality" cost companies lost productivity and lost revenue. When teams get stuck and unable to break through barriers, opportunities don't go away, competitors simply take advantage of them. Give your team the boost they need with Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour's seven steps from the "Zero to Breakthrough Success Plan." Armour shares her experiences as a police officer, combat pilot, and entrepreneur to illustrate what propelled her to EXCELerated results, breakthrough barriers, and create breakthrough opportunities. These steps can be harnessed and unleashed by anyone with the determination and desire to excel.

Cleared Hot!

Employee engagement, customer engagement, team engagement, personal engagement. No matter what area an organization is strategically trying to improve, individuals have to be engaged and execute in order for the plan forward! The key is giving the permission to engage from the inside out. Once that happens, your organization will be CLEARED HOT! There's no secret...a solid flight plan is the key. Give your attendees a fast paced message that will show how them how to harness the power of a "Breakthrough Mentality" mindset, lead through mentorship, leverage functional and individual diversity as a strategic advantage and create breakthroughs for their teams with five simple steps.

Who Needs a Runway? Take Off from Where You Are!

The bottom line is that we have to move into action from where we are! Unfortunately, many people become paralyzed in the preparation phase. Decide what you want, put your stake in the ground and execute! FlyGirl calls this making a commitment to the commitment. Give your organization the boost they need to come together as a team, understand how their objectives support the overall strategy and accomplish the mission, achieving the desired Breakthrough Results!

This speech will give your attendees an invigorating perspective that reveals how to:

Infuse passion in your life professionally and personally! Recognize and utilize the skills and talents of everyone around you. Lead a Zero to Breakthrough life with a "Breakthrough Mentality" as the foundation. Unleash your full potential, no matter where you are personally starting from.

Driving Diversity Deep into the DNA of Your Organization: One Mission, One Goal, One Team

In this speech, Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour—a former diversity officer for Headquarter Marine Corps and liaison to the Pentagon—reveals what it took to help a 200,000-personnel organization get back on track. She explains how, when you bring people together, it is normal to have differences and similarities that result in tension and complexities, but that what is key is how you manage that diversity.

The leader will discover how to: Know your people and harness the power, skills, and talents of the team. Unleash the full potential of diversity to impact the bottom line. Effectively tap into the power of the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Teach everyone to be an ambassador for diversity. Create a culture that values and respects all team members: One Mission, One Goal, One Team!


Gutsy Leaders create Gutsy Teams that make Gutsy Moves. Be proactive – not reactive; that’s how the best organizations create the future. It begins by summoning the courage to change tactics and align. Drawing on a distinguished 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. A compelling storyteller who commands attention – in-person or virtually, FlyGirl inspires audiences and shows them the key steps to achieving more than they ever thought possible.


  • Create a culture of trust where everyone steps up, engages, and collaborates

  • How really knowing your people can harness skills, talents & hidden passions

  • Unleash the full potential of diversity to impact the bottom line

  • Disrupt traditional metrics of success (measure more than money)

  • How to decide when to plant and when to pivot

TAILORED TO THESE THEMES: Leadership, Teamwork, Execution, Inspiration, Creating High Performing Culture, Improving Trust, Diversity, Accountability


How you respond to personal and professional obstacles, adversity, and disappointment is a choice. It also determines your future. Black, gay, and a child of divorce, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour learned this early. Her incredible journey – from police department to the Marines and becoming America’s first Black female combat pilot – was filled with challenges, adventures, successes, and ultimate triumph. She translates those lessons for audiences, drawing from her book Zero to Breakthrough – The 7-Step, Battle-Tested Method for Accomplishing Goals that Matter. FlyGirl is a force who will rock the house! Her energy, enthusiasm, and positivity inspire people to Get Gutsy and reimagine what’s possible.


  • 7 steps shatter limiting beliefs, unleashing personal and professional breakthroughs

  • Swap a defeating “Zero Mentality” with a winning “Breakthrough Mentality”

  • Delay is not Denial, and to Retreat does not mean Defeat

  • Tactics to ignite your passion and design the path to your dreams

TAILORED TO THESE THEMES: Inspiration, Positivity, Resilience, Motivation, Achieving Big Goals, Overcoming Obstacles


Helicopter pilots can spring into action from where they are. They don’t need a runway. Being nimble gives them an incredible edge in battle. Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour thinks this metaphor is perfect for uncertain times where speed and agility are survival skills. FlyGirl not only fires up an audience – in-person and virtually – with her energy and memorable stories, she punctuates hard-learned lessons with tactics that can be used to quickly adapt to the forces of change impacting your organization. This presentation is perfect for audiences navigating uncertainty, new regulations, unparalleled market forces, or looking to accomplish audacious goals. Give your group the necessary boost to come together as a team and innovate quickly and confidently.


  • Recognize and take decisive action to capitalize on a defining digital moment

  • The situation is never perfect – gain momentum from where you are

  • Decide, Commit, Execute

  • Recognize and harness the skills and talents of everyone around you

  • Create a “Zero to Breakthrough” culture

TAILORED TO THESE THEMES: Change, Inspiration, Overcoming Adversity, Innovation


This isn’t about politics; this is about being proactive. This is about coming together and deciding what we can do as an organization to create an equitable culture for employees, stakeholders, and customers that serves all involved. Where ALL can feel like they belong. Where all feel like they are part of the team. This is about 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 and liaison to the Pentagon. As a gay, Black woman she brought valuable personal experience to her work, driving diversity policy for a 200,000 personnel organization. When you bring people together, you will have differences and similarities that result in tension and complexities…THIS IS NORMAL! How you MANAGE diversity is the key!


  • 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

  • Create a culture that values and respects all team members

TAILORED TO THESE THEMES: Belonging, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Organizational Culture, Teamwork


Women on front lines? Of course -

Editor's note: Captain Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour is America's first African-American female combat pilot, having flown AH-1W Super Cobra Attack Helicopters for ...

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