Just two weeks after making history as the first female pilot to head the Air Force’s F-16 Viper demonstration team, Capt. Zoe Kotnik was relieved of her command on Monday.

“Col. Derek O’Malley, 20th Fighter Wing commander, relieved Capt. Zoe Kotnik from command Feb. 11 due to a loss of confidence in her ability to lead and command the Air Combat Command F-16 Viper demonstration team,” reads a statement made by Col. Allen Herritage, director of public affairs at the Air Force’s Air Combat Command.

“The Viper demonstration team is working to minimize impacts on scheduled performances and looks forward to inspiring crowds around the country during the upcoming season as soon as a new commander is selected.”

Capt. Zoe Kotnik courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

No details have been released regarding what prompted the sudden loss of confidence in Kotnik’s ability to lead, but the announcement is sure to ruffle feathers throughout the aviation community and beyond. Kotnik’s command of the Viper team prompted headlines around the nation, touting the young pilot’s accomplishments as an aviator and drawing comparisons between the female pilot and the protagonist of the forthcoming “Captain Marvel” film.

In fact, despite announcing that Kotnik has been relieved of her command earlier today, the Shaw Air Force Base Twitter account still prominently features a number of tweets praising Captain Kotnik’s role as the Viper team commander.

An accomplished pilot, Kotnik boasts over 1,000 hours of flight time in various military aircraft, earning her not only the role of first female Viper demo team commander, but also the distinction of being the Air Force’s first female single-ship tactical demonstration pilot in history.

The grounds for Kotnik’s dismissal have not yet been revealed, but it can be assumed that this situation will be the subject of both internal investigation and media scrutiny in the weeks to come.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting our Veteran Editorial by becoming a SOFREP subscriber. Click here to join SOFREP now for just $0.50/week.