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What's a Fighter Pilot?

Posted by Jolly on October 1, 2012

What is a Fighter Pilot?

A fighter jock is quite a phenomenon. He likes flying (single seaters) and especially gunnery, aerobatics, and cross countries. He has a strange fascination for flying boots, gambling, cigars (the bigger the better), and breaking glasses. He can usually be found in sports cars, at parties, or happy hour. His natural habitat (when on the ground) is the land of the bearded clam, Europe, and/or certain parts of the Orient. He has an affinity for women and booze (especially martinis so dry the bartender just faces Italy and salutes). He likes Steve Canyon, to read Snoopy, eat steaks, and tell dirty jokes. His favorite hiding place is in dark cool bars or behind a pair of dark glasses. He is capricious. To amuse himself he may fire practice flares from the mobile control unit, throw empty beer cans down the BOQ corridors, pour drinks down an overexposing décolleté, or become generally obnoxious. His favorite conversation revolves about a continuous chatter concerning flying, booze, or females (the order of priority is apparently irrelevant).


I had the following mondern day BLOG forwarded to me on what it means to be a fighter pilot from a non-fighter pilot's perspective.  He's obviously been hanging around some real fighter pilots!

How to be a fighter pilot

by book of the courtier

You know what?  Screw talking about money on Friday like I usually do, I want to have some fun.  So today, you get Harris’ authoritative guide on how to be a fighter pilot.  What makes me the authority on fighter pilots?  I happen to work with a bunch of real life fighter pilots, however I remain a detached third party because I myself am not a pilot.  A-10 pilots, F-15 pilots, F-16 pilots, F-22 pilots, I know them all.  After getting to know them, I’ve realized that being a fighter pilot isn’t about the jet.  Well, the jet may be a tiny part of what makes a fighter pilot, but most of it comes from their unique characteristics.  Here are things you have to do to be a real fighter pilot:

  1. Drink diet soda.  Seriously.  100% of fighter pilots drink either Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Mountain Dew, or Diet Dr. Pepper.  You wouldn’t believe how much these macho men (women are rare anomalies in the fighter world) love their sissy diet drinks.
  2. Never refer to something by its real name.  This includes people.  Coins become Round Metallic Objects, or RMOs.  Everyone has a nickname to keep from using their real name, except you won’t call it a nickname, you’ll call it a callsign.  Every unit has their own unique special names for stuff around the unit but a few are common across the community.  Usually the penalty for calling something by its real name is having to donate $1 to the squadron fund or LPA.  What’s the LPA?  This brings us to our next point:
  3. Never ever refer to something with words when letters will suffice.  This results in fighter pilots using a lot of TLAs, or Three Letter Acronyms.  The LPA is the Lieutenant’s Protection Association, which is a club that all lieutenants automatically belong to that helps keep them out of trouble.  You’ll hear pilots making fun of other pilots for losing their SA, or possibly asking where the HMFIC is.
  4. Have a fetish for children’s pajamas.  What are the three most unique things about your pajamas as a kid compared to regular clothes?  They are 1) a single garment, 2) have one big zipper down the front, and 3) fire retardant.  The third one may not have been known to you as a kid, but all good children’s pajamas are fire retardant so they don’t melt on your kid if the house catches on fire.  What are the three most unique things about a fighter pilot’s flight suit compared to regular clothes?  You guessed it, they are 1) a single garment, 2) have one big zipper down the front, and 3) fire retardant.
  5. Turn anything and everything into a sexual innuendo or possibly a joke about someone being gay.  This is perhaps the most important item on the list.  If you can’t make a joke about your wingman’s meatball lunch or the way they put that bottle of Coke Zero up to their lips then you aren’t cut out to be a fighter pilot.  If you say something and realize after the fact that it could have been construed sexually, then you must recover by adding “so to speak” to your sentence.  If someone else says “so to speak” before you then you have just lost man points.
  6. Have a gigantic ego.  If your current ego is not of sufficient size (so to speak), a larger one will be issued to you along with your wings.
  7. Have an amazing babe-dar (a radar for hot babes).  A fighter pilot’s babe-dar can spot an attractive female before she even walks into a room.  This is why all fighter pilots have hot wives, they saw them and moved to intercept before the non fighter pilots even knew they were there.  Also some of their excess ego turns into charisma so they can be really charming to the ladies.
  8. Tell stories.  A good fighter pilot can make his commute to work seem like a chase scene from Bullit.  It’s not lying per se, embellishment would be a more accurate term.
  9. (optional) Drive a cool car.
  10. (optional) Grow a mustache during the month of March.
  11. (optional) Get drunk at work on Friday afternoons, sing stupid songs, and swap stories.  This one may be the best part about working with a bunch of fighter pilots.  Wait, I mean drinking at work is discouraged and they would never act so unprofessionally.
  12. (optional) Know how to fly a jet.

That’s pretty much all there is to being a fighter pilot.  Sure, they do other things like studying and flying, but that only makes them pilots.  To be a fighter pilot you have to be the best there is and follow the above list.  I know I poked a little fun, but to be serious for just a second, these guys are great and I can say with 100% confidence that the reason we have the most powerful Air Force in the world is because we have the best pilots, hands down.


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Posted by jackteague on
#s 1-5 of non-fighter pilot's blog are complete bull-shit! I read through #6 and gave up. Why even given print to something so off-base? Kid's pajamas? Hmm.
Posted by Jolly on
Got this from Stambo:

Fighter pilots make movies; attack pilots win wars!

R.A."Stambo" Stambovsky, USMC (ret)
ATP, Airshow pilot
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