Callsigns, Traditions, and a Naval Officer’s IG Complaint

Though a few days older than the original story on the Naval officer who filed a complaint over his naming, a Time Magazine story contains more details on “callsigns” in the military, with some interesting, stereotypical (and likely accurate) comments:

In the testosterone-laden world of military aviation, call signs for pilots and other squadron personnel can be really sticky — the more an aviator complains about the moniker his colleagues bestow upon him, the tighter its grip will be.

Over the years, that has led to lots of embarrassing call signs beyond the famous one brandished by Tom Cruise…

Call signs — one- or two-word nicknames assigned by fellow pilots to facilitate radio communications in the sky — date to the dawn of aviation. There are no written rules governing their creation, and traditions surrounding them vary from unit to unit. Navy officers say calls signs can poke fun at aviators and their foibles but shouldn’t be anything you couldn’t explain to Mom.

Whoever made that last statement is either unaware of — or intentionally avoiding the topic of — the fighter pilot skill of the double entendre.