Top Gun Inspiration Makes History at Pentagon

Christine Fox is acting No. 2, highest defense post ever held by a woman

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 3, 2013 7:16 PM CST

(Newser) – For someone who has spent a chunk of her career in the wonky position of budget strategist for the Pentagon, Christine Fox now has two decidedly unwonky gems on her resume:

  • President Obama today appointed her as the acting No. 2 at the Pentagon, an "unprecedented move" that gives her the highest position ever held by a woman in the defense department, reports DefenseNews.com. Fox will be Chuck Hagel's deputy chief until a permanent successor is named.

  • The other gem came back in the mid-1980s, when Fox became the inspiration for Kelly McGillis' character in the Tom Cruise movie Top Gun, reports NBC News. At the time, Fox worked as a civilian analyst for a military think tank, and she helped prepare Navy aviators for missions, according to an old People profile now in wide circulation.

Christine Fox will be the Pentagon's No. 2, at least temporarily.
Christine Fox will be the Pentagon's No. 2, at least temporarily.   (Department of Defense)
Kelly McGillis, left, and Tom Cruise are shown in a promotional image for the 1986 film 'Top Gun.'
Kelly McGillis, left, and Tom Cruise are shown in a promotional image for the 1986 film 'Top Gun.'   (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures)
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