Air-Minded: The Hell You Say

This morning one of my fellow air museum docents forwarded an email making its way around the USAF fighter pilot community. It is, as most chain letters are, a pile of steaming Neanderthal teabagger feces, straight from the anus of Fox News.

Here it is:

Some of his language is very basic, fundamentally it carries a sore theme with many pilots…born with a sense of adventure, a risk taker based on challenging ones mettle, one’s own abilities, skills, and courage while trying to avoid all the PC BS run amok.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE PILOTS GONE?

If only the right people would read this and adhere.

Even the Main Stream Media Mutts reported our Air Force is short 1500+ pilots and that number is increasing because of all the PC bullshit. But with President Trump, bringing people like Secretary of Defense “Mad Dog” Mattis and others on board, hopefully things will change.

I received this from a retired Air Force officer. It is written from an Air Force perspective but a lot of truth here for all branches of the service. Other than Marine generals, check the ribbons on the other armed forces “senior leaders” the next time you see them on TV. Most are of the Colin Powell’s ilk – staff officers sucking up to commanders to enhance careers. Most of their ribbons are admin type of awards, not combat.HE PILOTS GONE?

We used to go to the Officers Club or Stag Bar on Friday afternoons in our flight suits to drink, smoke, and swap lies with our comrades. Think about this when you read the letter below.

Drinking then became frowned on and flight suits were not allowed in the clubs. Smoking caused cancer and could “harm you.” Stag bars became seen as ‘sexist’. Gradually, our men quit patronizing their clubs because what happened in the club became fodder for a performance report. It was the same thing at the Airman’s Club and the NCO and/or Top 3 clubs. Now we don’t have separate clubs for the ranks. Instead, we have something called All Ranks Clubs or community clubs. They’re open to men and women of all ranks…from airman basic to general officer. Still, no one goes there. Gee, I wonder why?

The latest brilliant thought out of Washington is that the operators (“pilots?”) flying remote aircraft in combat areas from their plush desk at duty stations in Nevada or Arizona should draw the same combat pay as those real world pilots, actually on board a plane in a hostile environment. More politically correct screwed up logic, right?

They say that remote vehicle operators are subject to the same stress levels as the combat pilot actually flying in combat. —– REALLY? …you’re bull-shitting me, right?

Now that I’ve primed you a little, read on.

There are many who will agree with these sentiments, but they apply to more than just fighter pilots. Unfortunately, the ones with the guts to speak up or push for what they believe in are beaten down by the “system” and are soon pushed out of active duty.

“Unfortunately there is a lot of truth in the following text – supposedly, SecDef had a force beating the bushes to learn who wrote this….

Where have all the fighter pilots gone?

Good Question.

Here is a rant from a retired fighter pilot that is worth reading:

It is rumored that our current Secretary of Defense recently asked the question, “Where are all the dynamic leaders of the past?” I can only assume, if that is true, than he was referring to Robin Olds, Jimmy Doolittle, Patton, Ike, Boyington, Nimitz, etc.?

Well, I’ve got the answer:

They were fired before they made Major or left for a National Guard unit
or the airlines!

Our nation doesn’t want those kinds of leaders anymore. Squadron commanders don’t run squadrons and wing commanders don’t run wings. They are managed by higher ranking dildos with other esoteric PC goals in mind.

Can you imagine someone today looking for a LEADER to execute that Doolittle Raid and suggesting that it be given to a dare-devil boozer – his only attributes: he had the respect of his men, an awesome ability to fly, and the organizational skills to put it all together? If someone told me there was a chance in hell of selecting that man today, I would tell them they were either a liar or dumber than shit.

I find it ironic that the Air Force put Brigadier General Robin Olds on the cover of the company rag quite a few years past.

While it made me extremely proud to see his face, he wouldn’t make it across any base in America (or overseas) without ten enlisted folks telling him to zip up his flight suit, get rid of the cigarette, trim his mustache or better yet, shave it off.

I have a feeling that his response would be predictable and for that crime he would probably get a trip home and an Article 15. We have lost the war on rugged individualism and that, unfortunately, is what fighter pilots want to follow; not because they have to but because they respect leaders of that ilk. We’ve all run across that leader who made us proud to follow him because you wanted to be like him and make a difference. The individual who you would drag your testicles through broken glass for rather than disappoint him.

We better wake the hell up! We’re asking our young men and women to go to really shitty places; some with unbearable climates, never have a drink, have little or no contact with the opposite sex, not look at magazines of a suggestive nature of any type and adhere to ridiculous regs that require you to tuck your shirt into your PT uniform on the way to the porta-shitter at night, in a blinding dust storm, because it’s a uniform.

These people we’re sending to combat today are some of the brightest we have ever produced, but they are looking for a little sanity, which they will only find on off active duty if we don’t get a friggin’ clue. You can’t continue asking people to live for months or years at a time acting like nuns and priests without killing their incentive.

Who are we afraid of offending? The guys that already hate us enough to strap C-4 to their own bodies and walk into a crowd of us to detonate it? Think about it.

I’m extremely proud of our young men and women who continue to serve. I’m also very in tune with what they are considering for the future and I’ve got news for whoever sits in the White House, Congress, and our so-called military leaders. Much talent has and will continue to hemorrhage from our services, because these warriors are tired of fighting on two fronts – – one with our enemies, another against our leadership’s lack of common sense.

BTW, whose great idea was it to put women and openly LGBTQ types in combat units? Not to mention same sex marriages, transgender operations, and babies being born on naval ships at sea. And I thought having an ORI at an F-4 fighter wing in Vietnam during combat operations in 1970 was the epitome of nonsensical thinking…and not one inspector flew a mission with us. But I think we passed anyway.

Take it or leave it….that’s just the way it is, no if’s, and’s, or but’s………..

And here’s my response:

Dear ______,

There’s a structural issue here. Where does the introduction end and the actual letter from a former USAF pilot begin? At “WHERE HAVE ALL THE PILOTS GONE”? At “Now that I’ve primed you a little, read on”? Or farther down still, at “Here is a rant from a retired fighter pilot that is worth reading”? Presumably one person wrote the introduction and another person wrote the fighter pilot part, but it all reads the same to me.

Whoever wrote the intro clearly knows nothing. If he did know anything, he’d know RPV pilots are real pilots who come from actual cockpits and will return to actual cockpits after their Predator assignments, and that rated personnel get flight pay whether they’re flying F-16s, Predators, or desks. He’d also know the “pilot shortage” is not a shortage of pilots in cockpits but at desks in headquarters buildings, command posts, and the Pentagon.

I almost quit reading at “Colin Powell’s ilk.” That’s some racist shit right there, buddy. Later on, where is Chappie James in the list of “dynamic leaders of the past”?

Stag bars and strippers went away over 40 years ago. Women have been flying USAF aircraft since the 1970s, and flying fighters since the 1990s. Does this guy seriously think Trump or Mattis is going to reverse time? Or that treating women as property and sex objects makes leaders?

If this guy knew anything about the fighter business, he’d know fighter pilots are the same as they have always been. Fighter squadrons still have after-hours bars. Fighter pilots still sing Sammy Small and fly with their hands, girl pilots included (who, though their numbers remain small, hold their own with the boys, something I know from personal experience). I was at a Command Barstool Association meetup not long ago. Our USAF Barstooler comrades are still going strong, as are our Navy Tailhook Association brethren, more underground than in the past but still there.

You and I both have encountered former naval aviators who still can’t get over McNamara standardizing military aircraft designations in the mid-1960s, changing F4Ds to F-6s and so on. This whole letter seems like the same kind of disgruntled old man whining.

Undermining the premise an actual fighter pilot wrote this is the assertion that in today’s USAF, enlisted personnel would correct a colonel or general over flight suit zippers or moustaches. Yeah, right.

Fighter pilots and fighter pilot culture haven’t changed much from your time or mine. Sure, there are sniveling yes men in senior military leadership. Always have been, always will be. Sure, guys like Robin Olds rarely make it past lieutenant colonel … until there’s a real war and leaders are needed. They’re still there, and we know where to find them.

Anyway, thanks for giving me fresh fodder for a blog post!

Paul

Or, as USAF pilots still say when they get chickenshit directives from higher headquarters, “Fuck you, strong message to follow.”

© 2017, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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2 comments to Air-Minded: The Hell You Say

  • judy galloway

    Speechless. This is such utter crap. Even my Dad, a fighter jock in the old fashioned sense of the phrase would have written something like this or even supported it. I sincerely hope that that that is not the consensus opinion of the current force. A very troll-like/s***disturber rant. 🙁

  • Gopher

    There are always those disgruntled old guys, waxing nostalgic for the “good old days” when in fact those days weren’t all that good. Having grown up a hybrid (13 years in submarines, qualified Surface Warfare Officer, and having served on 5 CVNs) I’ve heard that whinging in dolby surround sound. I call it the Stodgy Old White Man Syndrome (although the whingers aren’t always men or always white.)

    Remind me when I see you in Feb / Mar about this particular blog and also the responses (from a bunch of retired SWOs) to the 7th Fleet groundings and collisions. Just make sure we have plenty of time to chat.

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