Air Force Publishes Profane Euphemism But Doesn’t Know It

There’s a long fighter pilot tradition of “names” and “namings,” in which fighter pilots have a callsign bestowed upon them that will likely follow them for the remainder of their careers. As noted in the longer discussions on the tradition, callsigns are sometimes the result of a notable action, a physical trait, or a play on the pilot’s name.

For example, the current Chief of Staff of the Air Force is Gen David “Fingers” Goldfein, playing off his name and the James Bond reference.

Luke Air Force Base recently issued a press release about an award recognition that didn’t seem to realize the backstory to the fighter pilot’s callsign, which was “Sheet.” Now, why would a fighter pilot be called “Sheet?”

Luke is proud to have Maj. Matthew “Sheet” Hoyt, 54th Fighter Group F-16 chief instructor and 54th Operations Support Squadron chief of weapons and tactics nominated for the Lance P. Sijan Air Force Leadership Award.

Congrats on the nomination, Sheet.

Sheet Hoyt. Get it? As in a funny pronunciation of “s–t hot,” or “sierra hotel“, which is explained here in Fighter Pilot Speak.

Of course, one of the golden rules of callsigns is you always have to have a story about it that you’re willing to tell your mother.

Wonder what Sheet’s explanation is.



  • “Obscene” and “profane” are two different things. The vulgar word for excrement might be obscene, but it’s not profane; unless you believe that excrement is a thing to be held in reverence.

    • That’s profound.

      Interesting that you’ve only ever commented here on grammatical or similarly pedantic issues (no offense intended). Would you care to join the conversation on religious liberty?

      If not, fare enough. Its probably true that your write.