Tag Archives: callsign

Fighter Pilot Traditions: The Roof Stomp

An article out of Mountain Home AFB assures the world that the time honored tradition of the roof stomp (literally) is alive and well. The article talks about a commander moving on from command, and the way he was received by his unit two years ago:

Lt. Col Gary Marlowe, 389th Fighter Squadron commander is initiated as the new commander with a roof stomp June 2015, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

That’s LtCol Gary “Ziggy” Marlowe, a name which carries on another tradition, for those old Read more

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 Read more

Navy Officer Wants Apology for Callsign

Lt.jg Steve Crowston is the former enlisted Sailor who became an officer and then went through a fighter pilot naming, as previously discussed:

Crowston told the IG that [his commander, Commander Liam] Bruen and the unit’s then-executive officer, Cmdr. Damien Christopher, were in the unit’s ready room during an August 2009 all-officer review of squadron call signs, when Crowston was offered choices such as “Fagmeister,” “Gay Boy” and the group’s final choice, “Romo’s Bitch” — a reference to the quarterback of Crowston’s favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys. Crowston was the squadron’s administrative/legal officer.

Crowston is demanding an apology for the experience:  Read more

IG Says Ensign Faced Retaliation over Complaint

The Inspector General has reportedly determined that US Navy Ensign Steve Crowston faced reprisal in the form of an “unfavorable fitness report” after lodging complaints against his leadership.

Crowston was an “administration/legal officer” and had recently become an officer after previously serving as a petty officer.  The aviators in his unit included him in the fighter pilot tradition of a Naming; Crowston lodged complaints as a result.

Crowston’s then-commander, Cmdr Liam Bruen, Read more

Retired General Robert Magnus to speak at Jewish Center

When General Robert Magnus retired in 2008 after nearly 40 years of service, he was second in command of the US Marine Corps and the highest ranking Jewish member of the US military.

He was also a Naval aviator, though a transport helicopter pilot, so even he received a “callsign:”

The assignment prompted a friend to bestow on him a “call sign,” a nickname given to a military pilot as a substitute for the officer’s given name. “Fighter pilots and attack helicopter pilots all had call signs, but I was a transport helicopter pilot and we didn’t,” he explains. His friend insisted and Magnus became “Heeb,” short for “Hebrew.”

Think a callsign like that would last long in today’s politically correct environment?  Interestingly enough, it did last more than 30 years:  Read more

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 Read more

Navy Officer Files IG Complaint Over Naming

FoxNews has an article about Ensign Steve Crowston, a Navy officer who said he was the victim of sexual discrimination:

The harassment began in August 2009, says Crowston, 36, when his fellow officers called him into a room for a review of call signs, a military moniker that easily identifies a service member. He says his name was written on a whiteboard with a list of call sign recommendations: “Cowboy,” “Gay Boy,” “Fagmeister,” “Cowgirl,” “Romo’s Bitch,” “TO, “Terrell Owens” and “Redskins.”

Call signs can be used in official military correspondence and Read more

WWII, Korean War Ace Slips the Surly Bonds

Ret. Col. Walker “Bud” “Honest John” Mahurin, credited with 24.25 kills in both WWII theatres and the Korean War, passed away on May 11 at the age of 91.  Besides shooting down aircraft in three theatres, Mahurin had the dubious honor of being shot down in each one.  He escaped France with the aid of the French resistance (as did Chuck Yeager).  Yeager talked his way into continuing to fly in Europe (despite his exposure to the underground); Mahurin went to the Pacific theatre instead.  In the later conflict, Mahurin was a Korean POW for 16 months.

For those who are wondering, “honest John” Read more