Make way for the CW's newest badass lady!

Christina Ochoa joins the ranks with tonight's premiere of Valor, a military drama about conspiracies, love triangles, and a helicopter named Adele (who sometimes goes rolling in the deep). 

Ochoa plays Nora Madani, the first female helicopter pilot in an elite special opps unit called the Night Raiders, co-pilot to Captain Leland Gallow, played by Matt Barr. As the pilot starts, they recently went on a mission that went badly, resulting in a couple of their men getting captured and Nora getting injured, which she has had a tough time recovering from—physically, mentally, and in the eyes of the rest of her squad. 

"As a woman in this position, her struggles sometimes come with the fact that she can't afford to make the mistakes that sometimes a man is forgiven for, because any excuse to kind of undermine her role, if she is a pioneer in that situation, you know, it's ammo," Ochoa told us on the set of the series. 


The show works to be as accurate to actual military life as possible with a lot of help from consultant Dan Laguna, who was a part of the actual special opps unit the Night Raiders are based on. Laguna keeps an eye on everything from language to uniforms (which are accurate aside from slightly tighter T-shirts) to making sure Ochoa never has her hair on her neck. The show, of course, takes a lot of those military restrictions and plays into them. 



"I was not as familiar with the military lifestyle and the world that the show was set in when I first read the script, and learning how they have to navigate things like loyalty and hierarchy and orders and commands, that was really interesting to me," Ochoa says. "That even in a relationship, they're not allowed to touch on base, and there's not allowed to be any signs of affection, because that blurs lines and how important those lines are to be clear was really interesting. And of course is part of the topic of our show, because we do blur them a little bit and tap into that, because it's interesting." 

As for Nora's unique position as the first woman in the Night Raiders, Ochoa says the reality of that will be honored. 

"It has only been in the recent years that this position has been open for women in combat," she says. "So it's very important for us to do it as much justice as we can." 

Valor premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on the CW. 

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