Naming Ceremony Got Three AF Commanders Fired

The Naming Ceremony — long a fighter pilot tradition — has apparently wound its way into the earliest stages of a pilot’s career. A Naming Ceremony for student pilots at Laughlin AFB, Texas, ultimately contributed to a squadron commander, group commander, and wing commander getting fired:

In a rare action, the Air Force said Wednesday it had relieved three commanders at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio.

The move came in the wake of incidents in the past year that included a female pilot being given a vulgar name during a drinking ritual and another case involving a threat.

The Air Force said the leaders “failed to correct an evolving situation that led to an environment where some airmen did not feel safe or respected.”

Notably, the reports indicate the female student pilot did not object to the Naming, though LtGen Kwast indicated she may have demurred because her superiors were involved.

In varying degrees, Naming Ceremonies (not unlike many other traditional military rites of passage) were frequently characterized by vulgarity, obscenity, risk to personal health, and hazing.

It would seem a culture in which such degradation is no longer tolerated would be an improvement.

Also at John Q. Public.


One comment

  • William Robinson

    For the sake of consistency, every commander in this chain who has ever participated in a naming ceremony in any way, to include failing to stop those which crossed the line, should themselves resign as a matter of principle.