Thursday, January 19, 2006


When I was thirteen I had long hair and was overweight, and had little, if any, direction.

Then I saw "Top Gun."

Actually, it was "Iron Eagle" that started it, but Doug Masters was so hokey that I usually don't claim that and blame it on Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer...

I had always been interested in flying, but the military never crossed my mind. After seeing those movies, I joined the Massachusetts
Civil Air Patrol and never looked back. By the time I got to college, I wanted to go to the Air Force Academy and couldn't due to my grades, so I enrolled in The Citadel. Good call on my part. I think I would have been back home by the end of first semester had I been left to my own devices.

When I arrived at pilot training in the summer of 1994, I was an arrogant, self-involved idiot. Graduating from pilot training just re-emphasized that. I walked around anywhere like I owned the place, much like most young pilots do, even though I had very little to back it up. The instructors at the time also reinforced that, saying that it was a mandatory personality trait to be an aviator--to be a pompous, arrogant, ass.

What a crock.

I went to the commissary yesterday. It has been 13 months since I flew an aircraft, and I have just returned from the desert and watching what happens to popous, arrogant, asses. There were a few of them there, 2Lt's and 1Lt's, cruising through the building like it was built specifically for them. Part of me was actually angry, as they cut in line in front of my wife and kid--but mostly I just wanted to laugh.

After 3000 hours, I could literally fly circles around these punks and they wouldn't even know it. I guess it's a level of maturity that I have picked up at some point along the way. The Air Force community outside of flyers has a slight distaste for pilots that I never really understood. Its becoming much clearer now that I look at them from an outside perspective. I'm just glad I never taught my students to be like that, and I hope that none of them ever ended up that way.

Man, I'm getting old.


  1. Rock on, Maj. I used to work with pilots in a maintenance org. and some of them are actually ok. Now I'm a scientist and don't have much interaction with them. Lt Rob

  2. Yeah, I live near Florida State University, and I look at the college girls much the same way...Yeah, I'm a mom in the suburbs now, but in my day, I was a smokin' hot sorority girl, too.

    I mostly just laugh at their pretensions. God, was I ever that young and stupid? Sadly, I think I was.