Vernice “Flygirl” Armour Inspires Audiences to Engage With Their Fears

Before Vernice Armour became the first African-American woman combat pilot in the Marines and an inspirational keynote speaker, she was already comfortable talking to strangers. In school, teachers couldn’t stop Armour from talking. No matter where a teacher moved her in the classroom, she would end up chatting comfortably to a new person and turning them into a friend.

In the military, she was able to use her magnetic personality as a presenter for the Marines. After serving two tours in Iraq, Armour worked as a diversity liaison officer for the Pentagon, where she got to live out her dream of giving back to the community by speaking at schools during Black History and Women History Month.

Now she spends her life spreading a message of inspiration.

Permission to engage

When she was flying missions in Iraq, Armour would need to get permission from ground control to fire her missiles. The ground controller was always there to give her permission to engage.

However, in life, there are no ground controllers to give you the go. In the BigSpeak Podcast, Armour explains that we are our own ground controllers. When speaking, she inspires audiences to face their fears and take on what is uncomfortable, showing people they have had the permission to engage all along.

How to go from zero to breakthrough

Vernice also helps people take control of their lives through her book, Zero to Breakthrough. She uses a seven-step process to help people create personal breakthroughs and get them past their own ground controller.

By breakthrough, Armour means to provide people with the ability to innovate and implement creative solutions using their passions and interests to achieve their personal ambitions and life purpose.

In her book, Armour uses case studies of people who broke through and interactive lessons in the book to teach readers how they can achieve big things in life. She takes people from figuring out their passion in step one to overcoming obstacles in step four to finally integrating all the methods to their daily lives in step seven so people can live life fully.

For more on her message, watch a short sample of her talk.


Kyle Crocco is the Content Marketing Coordinator at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau, a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, and the lead singer of Duh Professors. He regularly publishes business book reviews and thought articles on Medium, Business 2 Community, and Born 2 Invest.