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Lieutenant Colonel ret.



Miss California 1992


Can a woman that walked a runway in 4-inch heels as Miss California command an aircraft in combat? You bet!


Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Patricia Northrup has been speaking to audiences of all ages for more than 25 years about how the most ordinary ideas can be extraordinary successes. She has often been told how “lucky” she has been in her life to have achieved so much. But once you listen to her speak, you will learn that the secret to her success is simply turning life’s normal rejections and failures to her advantage and seizing opportunities when they appear.


Patricia is an expert on leadership in high-stress and dynamic situations, breaking the glass ceiling and developing positive, harmonious relationships between men and women in the workplace, and finding a way to win the race of life when the world is convinced you are the underdog.


An engineer by trade, Patricia used her scholarship earned as Miss California 1992 to pursue a career in commercial aviation. She was recruited by the California Air National Guard and was awarded the top honor of the Commander's Trophy at military pilot training graduation. She was inducted into the prestigious Order of Daedalians, a WWI flying organization, where she is a Director. She is also a Director on the Disabled Veterans Charities board, which awards hundreds of thousands of dollars to disabled veterans in need annually.


Patricia retired after a 21-year military career as a Lieutenant Colonel and Instructor Pilot for the California Air National Guard in the 115th Airlift Squadron. She flew six tours of duty in the Middle East and has been awarded five flying Air Medals. She was named the 2010 California Air National Guard Field Grade Officer of the Year and has earned her Master’s of Science in Military Science and Operational Art. Patricia is the CEO of the Miss California Organization, a preliminary to the Miss America competition. She has flown 20 years as a pilot and now captain for American Airlines and resides with her three daughters in Redondo Beach, California.

Crown to Cockpit
Crown to Cockpit

From the runway of Miss America to the runways of Baghdad

“I didn’t like your story. I LOVED it.”


Harvey MacKay

 Seven-time, New York Times Best-Selling Author

“Recommended reading! This quote from the cover page of Crown to Cockpit says it all, "Girls like you don't fly for the military!" Oh yeah? Watch me"  I am a former Military Aviator and I can attest to the preconceived notions and  attitudes that prevail in that community and a Miss California does not fit in that mold. Oh yeah?  This Miss California, Patricia Northrup, did fit it and she fit it very well and she did it in a manner that dispelled all of those preconceived notions and attitudes. This book, Crown to Cockpit captures it perfectly and is well worth the invested time to read.”

Steve Chealander, USAF Thunderbirds Pilot

Military Aide to the President of the United States

"Patricia is the epitome of American pride, grace, and service. As long as I have known her, she has always given back to others, whether through the Military or the Miss America Organization. She inspires, mentors, and motivates, and her book does exactly the same. I'm so excited to see her influence and message reach beyond those that come from her two worlds via this book. Funnily enough, the Military and Miss America have plenty of similarities: Discipline, Sacrifice, Showmanship, Tradition, Loyalty, Trust, Physical Fitness, and an affinity for uniforms (although Miss America's tends to be a gown and the occasional sequin). Patricia is the product of these storied institutions and through her well-roundedness, tells a story unlike any other. I am honored to know her and am so thankful for her service to our country and to the Miss America Organization that functions solely due to the efforts of volunteers. I look forward to seeing this book come to life!" 


Kira Kazantsev, Miss America 2015

Thank you!

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