Category Archives: Fighter Pilot

The Air Force Song Gets a Gender-Neutral Update

US Air Force Chief of Staff General Dave Goldfein has announced that the third verse of the Air Force Song — most often sung alone, during memorials or at the end of Service Academy games — is now officially gender neutral:

At the Air Force Association’s conference in Orlando, Florida, Thursday, Goldfein recalled attending a women’s volleyball tournament at the Pentagon last year, when the U.S. Air Force Academy thoroughly beat the other service academy teams.

As Goldfein sang the Air Force Song with the female cadets, it was apparent that the lyrics left them out…

So, Goldfein said, he’s ordered the song to be tweaked slightly, to reflect that fact that women serve in the Air Force.

“These are the women we will ask to go into combat and fight, just as women have done for a generation…Yet this version of the song, their alma mater, was not about them…It is time for us to change.”

This is far from the first time the Air Force has neutralized Read more

Pilot Douses Town in Holy Water

A crop duster was recently used in Louisiana to spray 100 gallons of “holy water” over the town of Cow Island.

The community-wide blessing was thought up by L’Eryn Detraz, a native of Cow Island and a missionary currently stationed in Ohio, the diocese said.

Parishioners of St. Anne Church brought water from home to be blessed by Fr. Matthew Barzare before it was loaded onto a plane and distributed by a cropduster pilot.

A nice thought, perhaps, but Read more

Three Female Generals and Air Force Pilots Posed for a Picture in February. Two Have Now Been Fired.

Two-star MajGen Dawn Dunlop was, until May 31st, the director of the Defense Department’s Special Access Programs Central Office. (That’s the office that handles programs so secretive they require even more clearances than usual — “special access.”)  According to the Pentagon, Gen Dunlop was removed in response to an ongoing IG investigation. Anonymous sources quoted in the article indicated Gen Dunlop created a “toxic” leadership environment.

Gen Dunlop was feted as the Air Force’s highest ranking female fighter pilot.

This was a month after BrigGen Kristin Goodwin was fired from her position at the US Air Force Academy — also during an IG investigation apparently regarding her leadership style and treatment of subordinates.

Interestingly, both BrigGen Goodwin and MajGen Dunlop recently took a photo with Read more

Commander Who Fired Female Pilot Has His Own Checkered History

In February, the Air Force fired Captain Zoe Kotnik, who had been hyped (some would say over-hyped) as “the first woman to lead one of the flying force’s demonstration teams.” She’d led the team for two weeks.

While no reason was ever given for the move, US Air Force Col Derek “Maestro” O’Malley, who fired her, said in part

We have thousands of Airmen across our Air Force serving our country, and not one of them is perfect. As good people, like Capt. Kotnik make mistakes, I want them to have the opportunity to learn from them without being under public scrutiny, and to continue to be a part of this great service. They’ll be better for the experience, and in turn, we’ll be better as an Air Force.

The unusually long statement, as well as the concept of recovering from a mistake (one so egregious it led to a public removal), attracted particular attention because Col O’Malley is well-known in the Air Force’s F-16 community, and beyond, as the “Gold Bond guy.”

In 2004, then-Captain O’Malley made a spoof comedy video about Gold Bond powder that was, to put it lightly, rather crude. In fact, given today’s “Me Too” mentality, O’Malley would Read more

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