Vernice FlyGirl Armour

Vernice FlyGirl Armour

Inspirational Speaker, America's First African-American Female Combat Pilot, Former Marine and Pentagon Liaison Officer

Oct 1, 2017

Vernice ‘FlyGirl’ Armour

In this episode, BigSpeak host Mark Sylvester speaks with Vernice ‘FlyGirl’ Armour, the first black woman to pilot for the U.S. Marine Corps and a motivational speaker. She has served as a police officer, a combat pilot, and even played professional women’s football. She shows how her unique experiences allow her to become part of your team and fight alongside you, whether you’re in sales, services, tech, etc. She doesn’t just tailor her motivational speaking to fit your company. Instead, she learns your company in and out and speaks to the heart of your business.

“Dr. King said, ‘Everyone can be great because everyone can serve,’ and as long as I keep service in the forefront, and that’s my whole life, right? Military, cop, combat pilot. Now, I’m just serving on a different battlefield. I’m flying the mic.”

Episode Highlights


When did you know that you wanted to be a speaker in front of people? Is it in your DNA or something you learned?

I hesitate to even call myself a speaker…I’m really a messenger. When a client or a meeting planner looks at bringing someone in—it’s not the person per se, unless it’s a celebrity hall of fame, NFL, or something like that—they’re looking for someone who is going to inspire their audience to take bolder action and execute Gutsy Leadership, and I do use the word inspire versus motivate. They’re looking for a messenger who really resonates. For me, it’s really about delivering a necessary message for those unique audiences.


Tell me what the core idea is that you bring to your messages.

My primary message is about engagement and leading with courage, power, and grit—it’s what I call Gutsy Leadership. What does gutsy look like? In your gut, you know it’s right and it takes guts to do it, but you’ve got to take action. I break down what that really looks like and how to incorporate those elements into real-life scenarios that yield revenue-generating results.

…We’re trying to get our clients to engage with us every day, wherever we are in the process, when we’re closing a sale, opening a door, increasing a budget, whatever it is we’re asking people to act on. And continuing to work on the business as well as in the business. Gutsy Leadership has everything to do with the art of making moves that deep inside your business gut you know are the right moves to make. Not haphazard moves, but absolutely making moves that are going to increase our market share or, in some cases, help us maintain the share we have already gained, not losing any share as a result of increased competition or other market trends.


Do you feel like there’s a type of audience that resonates with your message better than others?

The audiences that really resonate with this message are organizations that are in the middle of change, whether it’s a merger, acquisition, or other challenging circumstances. They are dealing with a tremendous amount of change and because pace of change is often jarring, people are uncomfortable, unsure and oftentimes, even fearful.

Ask anyone in a corporate environment. They are in the middle of combat too. And the process of accomplishing aggressive goals in the midst of combat is the same. We have to (1) create a flight plan, (2) undergo pre-flight assessment, (3) mitigate as much risk as possible, (4) take flight, and (5) take action.  Then we must (6) strategically navigate the minefields, the obstacles, and execute, right? And then finally, (7) we continue to review our successes and, even more importantly, our failures. Recharge so that we have enough resources to continue targeting the outcome. Re-attack, the first time or again. The secret is in the successful re-attack until the job is done!

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