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Emily “Hawking” Shilling

Emily “Hawking” Shilling is a Commander (CDR) in the United States Navy (USN). Joining in 2005, she was winged as a Naval Aviator in 2007 and went on to fly the Aircraft Carrier based EA-6B Prowler on sixty combat missions. Hawking has flown 21 different aircraft, accruing over 1,700 flight hours, and served as a USN Test Pilot for the EA-18G and F-18E/F fighter jets out of VX-23.  

Now an Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer, she is stationed on Patuxent River MD, where she procures and develops our nation’s most advanced next generation of warfighting capabilities. CDR Shilling holds a bachelor of science in Aerospace Engineering, master of science in Systems Engineering, and has received national awards and recognition for both her advocacy and flying endeavors.  

She is currently the senior, actively serving, trans-identifying line officer in the United State Navy and President of SPARTA, an organization that advocates and educates about transgender military service and is dedicated to the support and professional development of more than 2,000 transgender service members. 

In 2022, CDR Shilling received the Outie Award in the category of “LGBTQ+ Corporate Advocate of the Year” for actively working with transgender personnel, Congress, high level military leaders, and the Defense Health Agency, to provide mentorship, advocate for inclusive military service, improve access to medical care, and create a safe environment in which transgender individuals not only serve, but thrive.


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