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Eagle Driver Rules

Posted by Jolly on October 25, 2007

Got this bit of wisdom from my old bros in the 95th at Tyndall AFB, Florida.  It was written as a quide for new pilots coming to the F-15.  


Mr. Bones'
EAGLE DRIVER RULES

 

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 The Eagle Driver Rules

 

FOREWARD

Once upon a time, there were experienced captains in fighter squadrons.  Many of them were on their second Eagle tour, became IPs, and had their shit together.  Those captains had learned many lessons from those who went before them…in the air, in the debrief, and in the bar.  Those captains took it upon themselves to teach the new guys the ways of the Eagle.

Fast forward to now…there are virtually no second Eagle assignment captains left in CAF fighter squadrons.  Without them, we have lost the tradition of young dudes passing down lessons to the younger dudes and keeping them in line.  Therefore, it has become the responsibility of the Bitter Ass Majors (BAM) and the Silverbacks to ensure that Eagle culture and the Eagle attitude endure.  In a perfect world, the lessons of the Mighty Eagle could be passed down as folklore in the bar.  However, that is no longer getting the job done. Therefore, it shall be written down so that no pilot can claim ignorance.  Most of you will read this and think “why do we need rules? This should all be obvious.”  However, almost everything in here is based on a true story.  We wish there was no need for rules.  But there is.

So, young dudes, listen up.  This is a collection of our thoughts on how to be a successful young Eagle Driver.  It includes your duties and responsibilities as a member of the fighter pilot fraternity, as well as some shit to do, and some shit not to do.  It is not all-inclusive, so use some SA.  If you don’t like it, it might be time to transfer to a line of work where your sensitive feelings won’t get hurt.  This is the way it is in the Eagle…the way that has earned us a 104-0 record.  Maybe, just maybe, it’s the right way.

The BAM

DISCLAIMER:  We’re old, we’re crusty, and we certainly aren’t politically correct, so none of the shit we say is official or sanctioned by the Air Force, the IG, or your squadron commander, so don’t go filing a complaint against us or any of them you sensitive fucking idiot.  But it’s all true.

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The Eagle Driver

Many people might say that if you are an F-15C pilot and wear an Eagle Driver patch on your shoulder on Friday then you are an Eagle Driver.  That is not the case.  Being an F-15C pilot and being an Eagle Driver are not necessarily one and the same.  Being an Eagle Driver is both an attitude and an adherence to certain standards.  There is no formal certification or documentation of who is or is not a true Eagle Driver.  Only the bros know.  A true Eagle Driver has earned the trust and respect of his compatriots in all aspects of fighter pilot life, in the air and on the ground.

There is no higher honor than to earn the respect of your fellow Eagle Drivers.  That respect is not easy to earn.  Once earned, respect may still be revoked at any time.  Make no mistake; it does require a high level of competence in the jet.  However, it is more than that.  The bros have to want to go to war with you.  That means more than just being able to be in position and kill your group.  It means that you think of the squadron before you think of yourself.   It means that you show respect to your fellow Eagle Drivers and respect for Eagle standards and traditions.  It means being able to trust that your mission planning is 100% spot on if you were in the Mission Planning Cell the night before.  It means being able to live in a 10-man tent in some God-forsaken shit-bag country with you for months at a time without wanting to punch you in the face before the war is over.  It means knowing that when the shit hits the fan, you’ve got their back.  It means trusting that you will adhere to the standards and the plan, even if that gives your wingman a kill instead of you.  And it means knowing, beyond all doubt, that you won’t flinch when hate starts flying off the jets. 

Killing MiGs…and Flankers Too

You’re job as an Eagle Driver is to be the best dude in the world at air-to-air combat.  Period dot.  McDonnell Douglas has provided you with the World’s Greatest Air Superiority Fighter and it is up to you to learn how to employ it perfectly.  This requires hours and hours of dedication above and beyond what some pilots are willing to spend.  It is this dedication, and a tireless effort to learn and improve, that will lead to success.

We have one job and one job only—air-to-air.  We are the best in the world at it.  We should be – it’s our only job.  There are other multi-role fighters in this world that claim to be competent at air-to-air, but no one is as lethal as an Eagle Driver in his Chariot O’ Death.  It goes beyond the single role that we train to and the superior aircraft we fly.  It is an attitude of excellence.  It is a commitment to put in the hours to learn the fine details of aerial combat…to learn what it takes to emerge victorious from an engagement--every time, no exceptions.  We focus on one mission, so we can be very detailed in the learning we seek from our training, for air combat can be a game of inches, and it may be a small mistake that costs you the game. 

Someday, you may find a young pilot from a multi-role fighter bowing up to you about his air-to-air prowess.  Do not waste your breath engaging in a war of words.  Let your performance in the air prove to him that you are a superior air-to-air killer.  Boasting only earns you a reputation as arrogant.  Proving it earns you a reputation as lethal. 

The success of our Mighty Eagle community has earned us this well deserved lethal reputation.  Never before in the history of warfare has an enemy buried their most capable combat assets.  In 2003, Iraq did just that.  They did not bury their tanks.  They did not bury their SAMs.  They buried their fighters.  They knew that if they raised the gear, they were dead.  We achieved Air Superiority by reputation alone.  That is mission success of the highest degree.

That legacy is yours to uphold.  Do not rest on the achievements of your elders.   You are part of the most dominant combat fraternity in the history of the world—the Eagle Drivers.  Dedicate yourself to the craft of aerial combat, so that if you find yourself in the right place at the right time, you too may turn some unlucky bastard into hair, teeth, and eyeballs.

The Brotherhood

The Eagle Driver Fraternity is a brotherhood.  The bros you fly with are the men you will go to war with.  As a result, you owe them your complete and total loyalty.  You must develop a bond and an esprit de corps that is beyond what any other organization in the world requires.  You must have complete faith in your brothers, and they must be able to have complete faith in you. 

Being an Eagle Driver is a competitive endeavor.  You should seek to be the absolute best Eagle Driver in the world.  If one of your bros performs well, it should motivate you to perform better.  However, you should never step on your bros to get to the top.  When we go to war, we go as a squadron and every member of that squadron is critical.  If digit 4 misses his group and someone dies, that’s mission failure for ALL of us no matter how many dudes you killed yourself.  WE failed.  The formation failed.  The squadron failed.  The Eagle Community failed.  You want every dude out there with you to be the absolute best Eagle Driver possible.  You will need to count on them as they count on you.  Never leave your bros behind in your quest to be the best.  If your goal is to look good relative to your bros, rather than to be an integral part of the most lethal fighter squadron in the world, your priorities are way fucked up.

In order to foster this brotherhood, you must spend time with your squadron socially.  Every squadron has a bar.  The bar is conveniently open every night.  It doesn’t matter whether you drink booze or not.  Show up.  There is much you can learn in the bar over a whiskey or a Coke.  Take the opportunity to learn as much as you can. 

Friday night roll calls are sacred.  While not legally binding, you should consider roll calls to be mandatory events where you develop the bonds that will contribute to success in combat.  Sarcasm and ridicule are how we police ourselves so that we don’t act like clowns.  If you witness an act of buffoonery, you may use these tools, in the form of a story, to seek justice.  If you tell a story, keep a couple things in mind: 

1) Have a point and

2) be funny. 

We can’t stand listening to a 10 minute story that goes nowhere and doesn’t make us laugh.  If a story is told on you, have some thick skin.  Don’t even think about puling or you might get hurt.  Rebuttals, however, are encouraged so long as they are funny too.  Remember, truth is no substitute for funny, so no one cares if your counter-point would be valid in a court of law.  The Supreme Court of the Bros is the only court that matters.

Fighter pilot songs are sacred traditions that have been passed down for literally thousands of years.  It is your moral responsibility to know the words to fighter pilot songs and to sing them with enthusiasm with the bros.

Above all else, keep this in mind - no one trusts the dude who is never around, no matter how good he may be in the air.

Preparation

As an Eagle Driver, you should refuse to be unprepared--for anything.  We write shit down for a reason, so read and know the books.  Do not show up for any ride without having thought it through.  Talk to your flight lead the day prior at work and see if there is anything you can help with.  Be involved in mission prep.  You’ll be surprised by how much you can learn watching another Eagle Driver think through the mission.  Don’t wait to be spoon fed.  Take responsibility for your own training and do your part to make it successful.  When the balloon goes up and it’s time to cross the line, you don’t have time to start preparing then.  You’d better know your shit.

Grading

As an Eagle Driver, you get graded every day.  We all do.  All young dudes look forward to their first sortie without a grade sheet.  Let us make this clear – there is no such thing as a sortie without a grade sheet.  It may not be on paper, but every day, every sortie you get graded by all the other dudes out there.  If you are red 2 and your admin sucks, it’s noted.  If you don’t adhere to the SPINS that were briefed, it’s noted.  If you can’t figure out shot/kill, it’s noted.  If you keep going blind, it’s noted.  If you don’t know the standards, it’s noted and you’re an idiot.  It only takes a couple minor clown-act performances before a reputation as a clown gets solidified.  After that, it’s very tough to regain the respect of the bros, even if you subsequently do well. 

On the flip side, you will have many opportunities to impress the bros.  Prepare for every sortie, especially blue air.  You won’t get that many of those, so make them count.  If you aren’t scheduled for anything, spend the day in the vault studying.  If your squadron has a wingman top-off study program, treat it like you are studying for your PhD, and then try to amaze dudes with your brief.  Once you’ve completed that program, start working on your 2-Ship briefs -- don’t wait until you’re told you’re entering FLUG.  Get ready early.  You should be chomping at the bit for your next upgrade, no matter what it is.  Hang out in the vault and discuss 3-1 and “what if” tactical scenarios with other bros.  When you have questions, look it up or ask someone.  If you aren’t doing anything critical, ask around to the other bros and see who needs help.  I guarantee there is always someone who is swamped and could use some help, even if it’s just making some copies of a card.  Don’t be the dude who goes home at 1400 just because he doesn’t have anything going on in his own selfish world.

First impressions are lasting and reputations are tough to change.  Have your shit together from the start and work your ass off every single day.

Leadership

Every Eagle Driver can be a leader in the squadron.  The newest lieutenant in the squadron can make as much of a difference as a seasoned old guy in many ways.  It is not job title or rank that makes an effective leader of Eagle Drivers.  It begins with credibility in the jet, but also requires the willingness to put in the sweat and effort to do an outstanding job that serves as an example to other bros.  Young guys become leaders in Eagle squadrons by being the wingman talked about in the hallways as always having his shit together, by always being in position and on freq, by giving the world’s best wingman top off briefs, by going above and beyond whenever given a task, by having initiative and not always needing to be told what to do, and by having an insatiable desire to become great.  It also means, when you see something that is jacked up, don’t just bitch about it, fix it if you can.  If you aren’t the right person to fix it, point out the problem and propose a solution to the right person so that he can fix it.  As we said, this is a competitive world.  The quickest way to make a difference in a squadron is to raise the bar for performance.  That generates competition and makes everyone else want to pick up their game.  That is what makes us the undisputed heavyweight champions of the air.  Even the youngest wingman in the squadron can have a considerable impact if he leads by example. 

Shut the Fuck Up

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As a young Eagle Driver, you should be a like a sponge.  You will not figure out all this shit on your own.  Your fellow Eagle Drivers will impart the knowledge developed over years of intense work, effort, and lessons learned the hard way (so to speak).  Don’t ever think you know it all, no matter how experienced you become.  If another Eagle Driver points out an error, and you find yourself thinking “bullshit,” then you are wrong and you need an attitude adjustment.  Debrief comments are not directed at individuals, they are directed at Eagle formation positions, so don’t take anything personally.  It’s a fact - you will fuck up in training.  It’s not acceptable, but it’s inevitable.  We make mistakes, call ourselves out on them, and learn from them.  The goal is to not fuck up in war.  If you disagree when someone points out that you could have done better, no matter how small the issue, open your mind and try to see the point.  If you don’t understand, ask a question at the appropriate time.  If you still don’t understand, clarify your question.  If you are 100% sure you did the right thing, and someone is still telling you that you were wrong, then sleep on it.  Chances are you’ll figure out you were wrong tomorrow.  If you still think you were right, then try to prove it in the books or keep asking until you understand.  If all else fails and you still believe you were right, then sleep well.  But never, ever, ever open your mouth and pule.

Keepers of the ROE

Eagle Drivers are the Keepers of the ROE.  As the world’s foremost experts at air-to-air combat, we are also are the experts at applying and adhering to the air-to-air training rules.  It’s not because we have a different set of training rules than anyone else…we don’t.  You will simply find that some dudes don’t seem to treat them with the respect they deserve, so stay vigilant.  Don’t be the dude who porks away the blocks, the bubble, or any of that shit.  Treat the training rules with reverence.  They are there for a reason.  If someone fucks it away, call them out professionally in the debrief.  If you fuck it away, raise a paw and say “I fucked up.”  Do not, under any circumstances, try to hide your mistake or pass blame to someone else.  There is no quicker way to lose credibility in the fighter pilot world than to try and deny it when you fuck up.  As fun as this fighter pilot shit is, it has also killed many great dudes.  Pay attention to what you are doing. 

In addition to keeping the training rule ROE, Eagle Drivers must keep the mass debrief ROE.  The purpose of the mass debrief is to determine the facts so the flight lead can gather the data that he needs to run an effective element debrief.  Have your shit together when you sit down with all the data you were told to bring.  Speak only when told to, and only in the exact format the flight lead directed.  The mass debrief is not for the wingmen, and it certainly isn’t for the red air.  If you are curious about random data or events, then you can pair it up or ask questions in a sidebar when the mass is over.  Other than that, shut the fuck up unless you were told to speak.

Flight Commanders

Being a flight commander of Eagle Drivers is one of the most glorious jobs on the face of the earth.  Ask any old guy what job he enjoyed the most in his career, and chances are he will tell you that he would give anything to be a flight commander again. 

Flight commanders run the squadron.  While they clearly work for the Commander and Ops Officer, they should assume that they own every process and every issue in the squadron then take the ball and run.  An Eagle flight commander should know everything about the dudes he supervises, to include how their last ride went, how their queep job is going, what assignment they want next, when their last blue four-ship was, and what checkrides they have upcoming.  They should mentor their dudes on all aspects of Eagle Driver life…flying performance, attitude, upgrades, bar act, career, etc.  There should be no doubt that they will provide a kick to the teeth if required, but there should also be no doubt that a flight commander’s #1 priority is the best interest of his Eagle Drivers.

When done properly, being a flight commander is the most rewarding job in the Air Force.  They have the opportunity to set the foundation, good or bad, for the rest of their dudes’ Eagle Driver careers.

TDYs – God’s Gift to the Eagle Driver

TDYs are glorious endeavors.  They are where we can fine tune our skills in dealing death, and burn off some steam without worrying about queep.  They are also where we sharpen our brotherhood. You should always be a volunteer to go TDY.  You should feel depressed if your squadron is TDY and you are not.

There are, however, some things that can fuck up a good TDY, so here’s some advice:

- Never whistle while you pack.  Your wife should believe you are sad to be going away.

- Always bring cash.  Don’t be the dude who delays everyone on the first push because you need to hit the money machine right after you show up.  You knew you were going TDY…you should have been ready.

- Never pule about the landing fee.  It is what it is and you’re getting paid extra.  Just make sure you drink your share.

- Push time is push time.  If you’re late, don’t bitch if you get left back.

- You must survive the first merge. 

- Being tired is no excuse.  You can sleep at home.

- Combat split is the standard method of payment.  If you order the salad and water instead of the steak and scotch, that’s your fault and we have no sympathy.

- No cameras TDY.  If you are too stupid to figure out why, you are too stupid to be an Eagle Driver.

- Announcing “we are F-15 pilots...who wants a tattoo?” is a sure way to get a great party started in any bar full of hot chicks.

- A fighter pilot in a rental car is a DV and may park where ever he pleases. 

- Hats are strictly optional when TDY.

- Never abandon a bro downtown…unless he’s doing good work and you get cleared off.

- If required, you will take one for the team.

- Never, no matter how bad you feel, look tired when you get home.

The most important advice we have for you is:  what goes TDY stays TDY.  This is not a license to steal and it is not a license to cheat.  If you do something wrong and you get caught, that’s your fault, not your bros.  That’s the risk you took.  But a squadron is a family and you don’t need your bros putting up with any shit from home that they don’t need to.  That can affect their performance, and therefore the whole squadron. 

You never know whose frau is going to give shit about what stupid little thing—shit you may never have thought in a million years would be a problem.  Your wife may not care if you go to Hooters, but there are some fraus who get upset about things like that -- things that may seem ridiculous to you.  You never know who they are or what will piss them off.  Things as minor as staying out late, getting drunk, and spending too much on dinner have gotten dudes into the doghouse before.  We shit you not.  You are welcome to tell your frau whatever you want about what you did, but when it comes to the bros never, ever, ever name names.  Get your frau used to that now.  If she asks who you went out with, the only right answer is “some fellas.”  If she presses for names, don’t give in.  If all else fails, you should fall back on your combat survival and resistance training.  All techniques, including asking for a doctor or denying you speak English, are authorized.

Chicks love to talk and stories spread like wildfires.  The problem is that the story never ends up like it started.  Minor incidents have been blown so far out of proportion in the past that not one single fact of the story was still accurate when it got back to the dudes who were actually there.  These stories can get so twisted in the frau network that bros get in significant trouble at home for things that didn’t even happen.  That’s why we don’t say shit!  If you find yourself trusting your wife to not tell the other wives, then you are treading on dangerous ground.  The bros trusted you to not say anything, so if you’re untrustworthy enough to talk, what makes you think she won’t?   And don’t blame her for talking.  It’s your fault because you should have known to keep your mouth closed.  Ultimately, though, if you think you are about to see something you don’t want to see, just walk away.  Then there should be no story to tell.

Having said all of that, it is your responsibility to have some SA and not put any bros in the position where they need to pretend they didn’t see what you are doing.  If you want to take a risk, that’s your business.  But don’t make any bros involuntary accomplices to something that, if it got out, would get someone in hot water.  That’s not fair.  Never put an unwilling bro in a position where, if he had to back you up, he’d be in deep shit at his own house or with the boss. 

Queep

Queep is the price we pay to do the glorious shit we do.  It’s not fun, but sometimes it’s necessary.  Get your queep done and get it done right.  However, never ever forget your priorities.  You may be the best queepmeister in the world, but if you’re a shitty Eagle Driver, you’re no good to anyone.  Find time to get your queep done.  Make time to become a great Eagle Driver.  Don’t confuse the importance of the two.

Man Spacing

Men require plenty of room to operate.  Never sit directly next to another man if there is a seat open next to that.  Under normal circumstances, a minimum of one empty seat must separate two men in the same row of chairs.  If your chair has wheels or is somehow mobile, an empty seat is not required, but your chair must be positioned such that accidental contact with your neighbor does not occur.  A woman is not subject to spacing requirements and may sit where she pleases.  It is better for a man to stand up in the back of the room than it is to rub shoulders with another man due to improper spacing.

SNAPs

An unfortunate trend that has emerged in recent years is that some pilots have developed feelings.  Fighter pilots are not allowed to have feelings, except for the feeling of exhilaration watching some communist bastard cook to death in the flaming wreckage of the Flanker that you just shot down.  The Sensitive New Age Pilot trend is unacceptable.  These parasites are infiltrating our ranks and disrupting our time honored traditions and customs.   If you don’t like the way someone talked to you, get over it.  If you think your opinion should matter, it doesn’t.  If you want some respect, stop whining about it - get off your ass and earn it.  If you feel like crying, then get the fuck out of the Eagle community. 

There has been much debate in the bar about why this SNAP trend continues.  Many claim it is a generational thing, but that is just an excuse.  SNAP-ness is not limited just to lieutenants or any other age or rank.  We can only blame ourselves for neglecting to crush each and every SNAP as they emerged along the way.  The more we let slide, the more cancerous the tumor will grow.  Most SNAPs are SNAPs because they lack adequate training and/or were never taught how to be a fighter pilot.  Old dudes get up and start working!  Your duty is to teach the punks how to act, walk, and talk fighter pilot.  If you see an act of SNAPery, you should take immediate action and kick the offender back on track.  If repeated beatings fail, you may consider more serious actions. 

 

It all boils down to education, training, and attitude.  If you look in the mirror and any of these areas are not in line, then self assess via Non-RTO option 2 and kill remove yourself right out of this community.   SNAP intervention is everyone’s duty.  Don’t let our culture slip away on our watch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metros

 

Another unfortunate trend that has emerged is that some young dudes feel the need to dress like they live in Hollywood.  If you need to wear $175 jeans to pick up chicks, then you have no game.  An Eagle Driver should always be able to take home the hottest chick in the joint, regardless of his attire.  If you find yourself in the corner of the bar wearing your fancy clothes, drinking some foo-foo drink, text messaging some high-maintenance chick begging her to meet up for a vanilla cappuccino, then you are a metro.  Get yourself a pair of Levis, a whiskey, and a proper attitude and the chicks will flock to you…and you will cease to be an embarrassment to the rest of us.

 

 

 

 

Your Jet

 

It is an honor to have your name painted on the side of a Mighty Eagle jet.  That honor brings with it some responsibilities.  You should get to know your dedicated crew chief and assistant crew chief.  You should know about your jet’s status.  If it’s at depot, you should know.  If the radar has been weak, you should know.  If it’s a killing machine, you should know that and be proud of it.  At least once, you should spend the day with your crew chief working your jet.  Occasionally, you owe your crew chief a twelve-pack of his choice for no particular reason other than the fact that he meticulously cares for the World’s Greatest Air Superiority Fighter that has your name on it.

 

 

 

 

 

Shoe clerks, Gumshoes, and Other Worthless Idiots

 

You will find that some people who do not work in an operational squadron have a poor attitude.  They often do not have a can-do mind-set and look for any reason to say “no” or to not go out of their way to help you.  As Eagle Drivers, this obviously can be extremely frustrating, but sometimes there is no choice but to work with them to get our queep done.  You will never understand their mentality and they will never understand yours.  Accept that fact, and you’ll be better off.  If you resist, you may end up so pissed off that you kill someone and the subsequent incarceration might cost you a sortie.  By default, most shoe clerks will assume you are an asshole because you are a fighter pilot.  So be it.  It’s true.  But you will generally find greater success if you are nice to them in order to convince them to want to help you.  This, in turn, will enable you to escape queepdom more quickly and return to the tactical realm.  A wise man once said “there is no job in the Air Force that an Eagle Driver couldn’t do better…if he wanted to.”  True.  True.  Just be thankful you don’t have to.

Obligations

 

There are a few events that are professional obligations for an Eagle Driver.  You should show up to every fini-flight and shake the hand of your departing bro.  You should be at every naming ceremony to welcome new bros into the fraternity.  You should be at the change of command ceremony and reception for any fighter squadron or OSS in the wing, regardless if it is your squadron or not.  You should be at every going away party.  You should be at every official squadron social event.

 

You may rather be doing something else, but that doesn’t matter. These are moral obligations to your bros and you should adjust your personal fucking agenda to be available.

 

 

 

 

LPA

 

Reason for existence:  to provide mutual support to keep lieutenant fighter pilots from getting crushed underneath the weight of their own stupidity, ignorance, and inexperience. 

 

As a lieutenant, you are the lowest form of life in a fighter squadron.  You may think you know things, but you do not.  As a result, the elder members of a fighter squadron will shit on you until you get it right.  The Lieutenants Protection Agency (LPA) was created to keep young Eagle Drivers from becoming buried in this shit.  The LPA should band together for mutual support and leverage.  If an LPA bro is struggling (tactically, socially, etc.), you will pick him up until he gets his shit together.  Ultimately, the LPA should attempt to learn, and demonstrate proficiency in, fighter pilot traditions and antics.  The LPA should look to the Captain’s Mafia to provide an example of how to conduct one’s self as a self-respecting member of a fighter squadron.

 

All members of the LPA are snackos, whether you officially hold that title or not.  One of the quickest ways to shine is to be the best fucking snacko that ever lived.  Never let the coffee, popcorn, beer or Weed run out.  Always keep the bar clean.  When the squadron has a social event, you should ensure it’s the best social event that ever was.  When the squadron goes TDY, the LPA will maintain a world class hospitality suite, complete with cocktails and entertainment, and ensure an adequate supply of tattoos and zaps for the bros.  Don’t make anyone kick you in the ass to get your shit done.  The last thing anyone else wants to do is worry about your snacko shit, but if it’s in the street, you can bet your ass it will be noticed and you will be crushed.

 

 

 

 

Captains Mafia

 

Reason for existence: to keep the fighter pilot traditions and antics of old ongoing!

 

These traditions include but are not limited to:

-       Singing songs

-       Playing dice games

-       Smoking cigars

-       Making wagers

-       Playing Crud

-       Telling stories

-       Admiring women

-       Keeping a doufer

-       And adhering to all rules of the Lounge

 

The Traditions are also not confined to only overt actions.  It too is the contract to protect your senior leaders from ramifications due to your, or others, actions (This may require covert ops and/or denial).   

 

Traditional actions:

  • Alter other squadrons’ prized possessions.  Defacing should not necessarily be of a permanent nature.  Instead, it should be in a manner such as to announce a superior cunning and ability to perform obscurely and without their knowledge.
  • Supply ones own lounge with artifacts of unique adventures.**

**Debatable as to whether said artifacts are worthy of admission (subject to vote)

  • Have a capability to provide a good narrative for everyone’s entertainment during story time.  

 

NOTES:

  • If “borrowing” from another fighter squadron, you must supply a ransom note and perhaps a challenge for said items return within 24 hours.  The ransom must be appropriate and realistic.  That is, you should not demand 10 handles of Jack or that a 4-ship cross the pond to fly DACT with you.
  • If your squadron was pilfered, you may pay the ransom OR you may counter-“borrow” items and propose a prisoner exchange.  In this case, you may not demand counter-ransom on top of the prisoner exchange, and you must actually show up to the established exchange.

 

Another Captains’ Mafia job is to make sure the LPA has their shit together.  They will make sure the LPA is not the laughing stock of the base through ridicule, sarcasm, and constant reminding of how things should be.  However, if someone from another squadron tries to fuck with our LPA, the Mafia better stand in and protect little brutha before the BAM must exhibit its power!  Only Eagle Mafia and BAM can torment our own LPA, and do it they must to ensure proper behavior.

 

BAM

 

Reason for existence:  To provide overall supervision to the LPA and the Captain’s Mafia and to prevent the SNAP culture from permeating into the fighter pilot community.

 

The Bitter Ass Major’s society (BAM) was created because sometimes the young pups just can’t get their shit together and someone has got to get the j-o-b done.  The BAM is comprised of crusty dudes who generally have more flight time in an AOR than the LPA members have time.  We’ve picked up more chicks, drank more whiskey, applied more tattoos, and gunned more adversaries than any SNAP will in his lifetime.  We talk frequently about the good ol’ days when men were men, upgrades were tough, staying visual didn’t require JHMCS or FDL, and SNAPs didn’t yet exist.  We are generally angry for no apparent reason, so do not say anything stupid in the presence of the BAM or you may be killed.

 

 

 

Silverbacks

 

This is the "Grand Pooh Bah" society within the Eagle community.  Members of this society have worked their way through all other previously mentioned groups within the F-15 community.  Their stature as Eagle Driver's is on par with many deities, and often referred to as the "Dali Lamas" of the air-to-air world.  Pilots that are afforded this recognition have completed multiple assignments (normally 3 or more) in the World's Greatest Air Superiority Fighter.  Their rank will be no less than Lieutenant Colonel, and no more than General.  Although, when a former Eagle Driver is elected President, he will still be referred to as a Silverback, and afforded all the rights and benefits that title deserves.  This group of pilots has seen it all and their experience in the air-to-air arena is immense.  For younger members of the Eagle community, only approach the Silverback with questions after all other avenues have been exhausted.  In no case shall you ask a Silverback a trivial question about tactical employment of the F-15C.  Remember, most Silverbacks have very strong opinions about the rights and wrongs of Eagle employment, and in many cases may stray slightly from 3-1 guidance.  In addition, never approach a Silverback with opinions on ACM.  This can result in a very lengthy and usually quite heated discussion which can lead to delays to the beginning of roll call.  Think carefully about the way your questions are presented to a Silverback. For instance, if you begin your question with "have you ever seen this?"  You have screwed the pooch.  Of course he has seen it, he has seen everything!  Instead, begin with, "when you saw this, tell me how you countered the tactical problem."  And lastly, if you are bold enough to ask a question of a Silverback, do not question his response!  If you question him, it will only make him irritable and typically results in quick and painful discipline.  On a social level, never let the Silverback's drink become empty.  If you see him with an empty glass, offer to procure him another beverage, this will surely make your journey to becoming a Silverback a more enjoyable trip. 

To Be or To Do…

 

Unfortunately, tactical excellence does not necessarily translate into a fast-burning career in the eyes of Big Blue.  You will have to decide for yourself whether or not you care about that.  If you want to get promoted, the fact of life is that there are squares you must fill.  You gotta do what you gotta do.  But do not ever lose sight of what’s important as you fill those squares and progress in rank.  You can fill your squares quietly without ever losing track of what’s right, or you can make looking good on paper your goal at the expense of what’s truly important.  Our job is not a “one-upmanship” kind of place.  We fly like champions and let the boss sort it out.  We do not do our work to simply climb ladders and get ahead of our peers.  Kiss-asses unfortunately sometimes do get ahead, but they should have been crushed by the mob prior to that ever happening!  If you feel the need to back stab and kiss ass and build new computer programs and focus on queepy shit that does not matter in order to distinguish yourself, then you are part of the problem, regardless of how you are able to rationalize your actions to yourself.  Don’t ever get suckered into that kind of mentality.  Always remember what is actually important.  The word is ripe with retired O-5 and O-6 fighter pilots that never made a real difference.  Will that description fit you someday?  The choice is yours.  Few people have summed it up better than Col John Boyd…

 

“One day you will come to a fork in the road, and you’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go. If you go one way, you can be somebody. You will have to make your compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends, but you will be a member of the club, and you will get promoted and get good assignments. Or you can go the other way, and you can do something, something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself… You may not get promoted, and you may not get good assignments, and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors, but you won’t have to compromise yourself.  You will be true to your friends and yourself.  And your work might make a difference...In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you have to make a decision: to be or to do.”

 

 

Once an Eagle Driver…

 

Once an Eagle Driver, always an Eagle Driver…sometimes.  Chances are, you will not spend your entire career flying the Chariot O’ Death.  You might get a tour in white jets, smurfs, predators, or transfer over to the Raptor.  You might even have to fly a desk.  You will still always be an Eagle Driver if you never forget your roots!  Never forget the traits that make the Eagle community successful.  Bring those traits with you wherever you go and use them to make every place you work and fly better.  Remember that you will always represent the Eagle community, even if you have moved on to another world.  Do not take that responsibility lightly.  If you choose to forget what it means to be an Eagle Driver, then we can choose to forget you ever were one.

The Next War

 

No one knows when or where the next war will be, but you can bet your ass there will be one.  Do not get caught up in training to fight the last war, because the next one will be different, guaranteed.  Every war this nation has ever fought has been significantly different than the last one.  The Eagle Community may not have employed in combat lately, but don’t let that make you lazy.  You have to believe that we will be on the leading charge of the next war and we must ensure that we are ready for it.  The next conflict may hit without warning, so study up on threats now.  Learn new tactics.  Learn why they work and learn the limfacs.  Learn about other blue fighters and what their capabilities, tactics, and limfacs are, because composite ops are here to stay.  The bad guys are getting their hands on some decent equipment these days, and you can bet your ass they will learn to use it, so don’t count on a cake walk.  We will prevail, but only if we do not rest on the laurels of our past successes.   We must continue to develop an attitude of excellence.  We must sweat the fine details of aerial combat.  We must never lower our standards.  Above all else, we must cultivate and honor the spirit of the Eagle Driver that has been the foundation of our 104-0 record—the most dominant score in history.  If we do that, we will ensure that all future points end up in the win column…and only in the win column. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eagle Driver’s List of Shit Not to Do

 

No missing your group.

 

No going blind.

 

No fratting.

 

No excuses.

 

No crying.

 

No getting offended.

 

No whining.  (Exceptions to this rule listed in Appendix A)

 

No rank in the debrief.  However, standard fighter pilot respect always applies.

 

No censorship in the bar.  Attendance of guests in the bar is at their own risk, and Eagle Drivers can not be held liable for offending the weak and the ignorant.  Never bring a guest to the bar unless they are full up.

 

No liking the french, otherwise known as frogs or cheese-eating surrender monkeys.  Make no mistake, they are spies and they are the enemy. 

 

No going to the flight doc’s office, unless it is for a required annual physical to remain on flight status, or to get meds that are not available at Walgreens and are also required to sustain life.  In other words, unless you need prescription antibiotics, stitches to prevent bleeding to death, an IV to re-hydrate you back to life after a championship evening of boozing, or some sort of non-cosmetic surgery, you shall not go to the flight doc’s office.  You don’t need to consult anyone else to tell you if you’re got a cold.

 

No arguing about 3-1 tactics or the standards if you don’t know what 3-1 or the standards say.

 

No missing data in the mass debrief.

 

No bragging about yourself.

 

No showing up late.

 

No pencil pocket flaps.

 

No peter pockets.

 

No raising the zipper of your flight suit beyond the middle of your nametag. 

No tightening the Velcro of your flight suit around your wrist unless flying.

 

No white v-neck t-shirts under a flight suit.

 

No turtlenecks under a flight suit.

 

No going shirtless under a flight suit.

 

No calling “on the deck” with your codes.  This is not the Navy.  We have no deck.

 

No referring to “crew rest.”  It is called “pilot rest.”  We have no crew. 

 

No briefcases.

 

No backpacks.  Exception:  while not preferred, a backpack may be used to contain gym clothes.  If so used, it must be left in the car or in a locker when not in use, hand-carried to and from the gym, and may not, under any circumstances, be carried over your shoulder.

 

No patches may be worn when you fly.  Exception:  a subdued nametag may be worn on the left shoulder. 

 

No ass kissing.

 

No back stabbing.

 

No queep in the bar.

 

No scarves.

 

No shiny boots.  They are permitted to be clean and relatively black, but under no circumstances may you see your reflection in your boots.

 

No attendance at spin class, aerobics class, jazzercise, yoga, pilates, or any other similar class…unless your purpose there is solely to stand outside the window and gawk at hot chicks in the class.  In this case, the class must be made up solely of females.

 

No sit-ups during roll call.  In fact, no exercise whatsoever during roll call unless by exercise you mean lifting a cocktail, singing songs, telling animated stories, breaking bottles, super drink-off, feats of strength, flip-cup, or punching a visiting fighting falcon driver who has gotten out of line.

 

No wearing a tie to a naming.

 

No calculator watches.

 

No Ray Ban aviator sunglasses.

 

No Air Force issue sunglasses, even if they are prescription lenses. 

 

No referring to a hat as a “cover.”  If you are missing your hat, look in the freezer.  If you wear your hat into a bar, you will buy a round.

 

No wearing your hat in a car unless you are a marine, colonel, chick, or dork.

 

No bricks, pagers, cell phones, or crackberries allowed in the bar.

 

No leaving the coffee pot with less than one full cup of java remaining in it, unless you are the last person in the building for the day.  Make another pot you lazy bum.

 

No fruity or otherwise flavored additives shall be put into coffee.  

 

No fruity or vanilla flavored cocktails shall be consumed. 

 

No umbrellas (in your drink or over your skull).

 

No running to avoid getting soaked in the rain.

 

No cats.

 

No small dogs.  If a small dog resides in your house, it must be the sole property of your wife.  Poodles, of any size, are forbidden.

 

No spandex.

 

No speedos.

 

No cardigan sweaters.

 

No leather pants.

 

No leather vests.

 

No socks of any color besides white shall be worn under your flight boots, unless required for a squadron conformity check.  You aren’t at the academy any more, dork.

 

No sweatbands. 

 

No parachute badges on nametags.

 

No ascots.

 

No playing chess in a fighter squadron.

 

No tightening the ACES II seat kit straps all the way down and then leaving them that way for the next pilot.  Asshole.

 

No fucking, molesting, or hitting on another bro’s wife or girlfriend.  Moms and sisters are fair game.

 

No volunteering to give a media interview.

 

No calling Code 2 engines, flight controls, or landing gear.  They are either Code 1 or Code 3.  There is no middle ground.

 

No unnecessary use of personal care products.  Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and shaving cream are all a man needs.  Under no circumstances may a man use “apricot scrub.”

 

No posing for cosmo magazine then asking other dudes to vote for you as bachelor of the year. 

 

No wives or girlfriends TDY.  Wives or girlfriends are permitted at the TDY location either before or after the bros are in town, but not during the TDY.  This rule is in effect regardless of whether it is your squadron that is TDY or another squadron of bros. 

 

No mopeds, segways, scooters, or any other similar form of transportation shall be used.

 

No checking e-mails in the jet on your blackberry.

 

No calling an air traffic controller “sir” or “ma’am.” 

 

No dudes wearing makeup (Malibu clause).  You’d think that would go without saying, but apparently it does not.

 

No pissing on another Eagle squadron’s patch.

 

No pissing at a urinal next to another occupied urinal unless a divider is present and no other suitable urinal is nearby.  If no divider exists and insufficient time exists between a WATT and a roll call to wait in line, you may call “waiver” and do what needs to be done.  In this case, your eyes must remain caged in front of you.

 

No missing roll call.  If you do miss roll call due to valid excuse (on out of town leave, on a deployment, in a coma, etc), you must call in the day of roll call prior to your name being called.  If you have an invalid excuse and/or did not call in, you will be assessed a $1 fine plus you owe an apology toast to the squadron.  If you were at work that day, regardless of excuse, you will be assessed a $5 fine, owe an apology toast, and you must re-evaluate your priorities in life.

The Eagle Driver’s Bill of Rights

 

- You have the right to go cross country.

 

- You have the right to log what you need.

 

- You have the right to push up your sleeves.

 

- You have the right to have a cold beer waiting for you when you land from a ROTE.

 

- You have the right to be overdue paying your snacko bill by at least one month.

 

- You have the right to make fun of shoe clerks, navs, lawn darts, and tankers.

 

- You have the right to wear Friday patches all day on Friday.

 

- You have the right to fly surge BFM at least once per quarter.

 

- You have the right to hate communists and french people.

 

- You have the right to hate the news media.

 

- You have the right to hate terrorists, tree huggers, pacifists, child molesters, bureaucrats, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

- You have the right to have fresh coffee and popcorn available in the squadron at all times.

 

- You have the right to lie about your name, age, occupation, hometown, college, nationality, and/or astrological sign to any woman at any time.

 

- You have the right to sing fighter pilot songs…in any bar, at any time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX A

 

PERMISSABLE WHINING

 

You may whine, without repercussion, about the following topics:

 

- Shoe clerks and how worthless they are

 

- S-words

 

- M-words

 

- Having to wear chem gear

 

- Tankers and why they cannot be on freq, on time, stay out of Syria or Iran on their way to the tanker track, or find the VMC that exists 200 feet away from your tanking altitude.

 

- Not flying enough.  Exceptions:  If you last minute pule out of a sortie for any reason other than near-death illness more than once per quarter, or if your availability for any given week is less than 50% of the available lines, then you have waived your rights to pule.  You get nothing and like it.

 

- Not flying enough blue air.   Exceptions as noted above.

 

- Not going TDY enough. 

 

- Having to fly in the back seat for any reason other than a ROTE (Ride on the Eagle).  A ROTE means you are going TDY, and therefore have no right to pule.

 

- Having to fly in the tube of shame to or from a TDY.  In this instance, whining is limited to 2 minutes and may be heard by a maximum of 5 people.  You’re going TDY…get over it.

 

- Having to do SOF, Top 3, SDO, paperwork, meetings, queep, IRC, computer based training, or anything else of a non-tactical nature

 

- Having to wear blues for any reason besides attending a funeral.  Exception:  if you didn’t like the bastard who died, you may pule as desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revisions

 

We reserve the right to amend this document whenever we want to.  If you have any suggestions as to additional issues that require addressing in this book of rules, you may submit them via HQ BAM for consideration.  If you have any complaints, you can shove them up your ass.  That is all.  Carry on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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