Former SWA Airlines Captain ~ Former Naval Aviator ~ Speaker ~ Author ~ Hero

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Best Selling Author – Nerves of Steel

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  • Inspirational
  • Leadership
  • Team Building
  • High Performing Teams & Strategies
  • Peak Performance
  • Pursuing Your Dreams
  • Faith
  • Patriotic

Member Profile

Tammie Jo Shults captivates audiences with her life story and her path to becoming a military jet pilot and Southwest Airline Captain. Through her fierce determination, Tammie Jo demonstrates the building blocks necessary to lead during adversity and during a crisis. Through her unique perspective and insight, Tammie Jo has motivated thousands to transform adversity into strength, and strength into the courage to take action.

Tammie Jo started with Southwest Airlines in 1994, as a first officer for 6 years and in 2000, she qualified as a Captain. This year, 2020, will mark the end of Captain Shults’ incredible journey with Southwest Airlines. Tammie Jo became an aircraft carrier qualified naval aviator and earned her wings of gold in 1987.  She then served as a flight instructor in the T-2 Buckeye before going on to fly as an electronic aggressor pilot in the A-7 Corsair and then the F/A-18 Hornet. She was one of the first women qualified to fly the Hornet. Tammie Jo holds a split degree in Premed and Agribusiness from MidAmerica Nazarene.

When Tammie Jo finishes her career with Southwest this year, she will continue to fly privately, serve as a volunteer pilot, and assume the role, alongside her husband, Dean, as board members of the nonprofit organization, Angel Flight South Central. The Angel Flight organization arranges free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs. Tammie Jo will serve among many other honorable pilots who donate their aircraft, piloting skills, and flying costs to help families in need.

Speaking Programs

All of Tammie Jo’s keynotes are ideal for professional conferences, corporate & faith-based events



Tammie Jo’s message resonates throughout the corporate culture and beyond. On April 17, 2018, Southwest Airline Captain Shults safely landed the severely crippled Southwest Airlines flight 1380 and helped save the lives of 148 individuals. But what created the calm confidence and nerves of steel to lead her crew and passengers to safety? Through her captivating story as one of the first female Navy F/A-18 fighter pilots to her successful career in aviation at Southwest Airlines, Captain Shults demonstrates the building blocks necessary for successful leadership — fierce determination, teamwork, and the cultivation of strong habits. “Habits on a good day” Shults instills, “become instinct on a bad day. Habits when you are not under pressure become a reaction when in crisis.” It was through these habits and her unwavering persistence that Tammie Jo was able to manage such a crisis under severe pressure.  Tammie Jo’s story will inspire and motivate your teams to strive for those necessary building blocks to build and grow a successful “fierce and determined” organization.


Growing up in rural New Mexico, Tammie Jo learned to “dream without fences;” and indeed, Tammie Jo knew there was a boundless sky waiting for her to take flight. Despite the resistance and adversity she faced along the way, Tammie Jo was determined to pursue her dream of becoming a pilot — a dream that would place her in the right place at the right time.  Through her story, Tammie Jo demonstrates to organizations how to transform adversity into strength, and strength into the courage necessary to take action.


“Tammie Jo’s faith has been her rock since childhood and enabled her to remain amazingly calm throughout the Southwest Airline flight 1380 accident.  The accident has given Tammie Jo a platform to share her faith. When you land a damaged airplane, people tend to listen even if you talk about something they’re not fond of. So I’ve been able to be very candid about what my foundation is. When I tell this story, God is always a part of that story. Truth, when you hear it, resonates.” https://todayschristianliving.org/nerves-of-steel/

Tammie Jo’s Ideal Audience

  • Faith-based Events & Conferences
  • Professional Organization Conferences
  • Corporate Employee Resource Groups
  • Leadership Conferences/Retreats
  • Professional Development Programs
  • Company Events & Conferences
  • Colleges / Universities