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Takeoff lands officer in "Playboy' pictorial

Navy Lt. Frederica Spilman, a pioneering naval flight officer, has a six-page spread in Playboy magazine that could bring disciplinary action.

The pictorial in the June issue features photos of Spilman, 28, covered with loosely opened flight jackets, camouflage lingerie and dog tags.

The U.S. Navy, caught off guard, has not decided what, if any, action might be taken against Spilman, a spokesman said. The Naval Academy graduate is scheduled to get out of the service on Thursday, two days after the magazine hits newsstands.

Spilman, who had been on temporary duty in Pensacola for the past year, said the Navy ordered her back to Jacksonville after finding out about her Playboy appearance.

"The range of actions could include administrative disciplinary procedures up through charges under the uniform code of military justice," said Pat Dooling, a spokesman at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, where Spilman was stationed.

She is on leave in Pensacola, awaiting the end of her tour.

"She could possibly face violations of Navy uniform regulations and conduct unbecoming," said Dooling, who had not seen the issue. If the Navy decided to take action, it could keep Spilman on active duty past her scheduled separation date, he said.

"The Navy's top brass might object to my posing, but many people will support my decision," Spilman, the first woman to navigate ES-3 aircraft, told Playboy.

Spilman said she doesn't think the revealing layout portrays Navy women in a negative light or as mere sex objects, a touchy subject for the Navy since the 1991 Tailhook sex scandal.

Elizabeth Norris, a Playboy spokeswoman in Chicago, described Spilman _ whose layout is featured under the headline "fly girl" _ as bright and accomplished.

Spilman, a valedictorian at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, Calif., went on to graduate with merit in 1990 from the Naval Academy.

She earned a bachelor's degree in engineering and minors in French and German.

During her time in the service, Spilman made two deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf, flying missions over Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq.

Spilman said the reaction from her friends and colleagues has, in general, been positive.

"Nobody seems to think it's a really big deal," she said.

Her husband, Navy Lt. Nick Loghides, said he has no problem with his wife appearing nude in 3.4-million copies of Playboy. "I support everything she does," he said. "My words would be, "go Frederica.' "