Category Archives: USAF

What The Panel Wants

Posted by lex, on March 18th, 2011

A congressional commission wants a US military that “looks like America“:

Just as the U.S. military is indoctrinating troops to accept open gays in their ranks, a federal commission is pressing the Pentagon to make the force more diverse by, among other ideas, opening infantry and armor units to women…

The commission says it wants the military to resemble the ethnic makeup of America. It is urging the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force to “validate” the standards – such as education, test scores, criminal records and drug use – that disqualify large numbers of blacks and Hispanics.

“Racial/ethnic minorities are less likely to meet eligibility requirements than are non-Hispanic whites, and that gap is widening,” the report says.

The commission said women should be allowed into male-only land combat units to “create a level playing field” in promotions “for all service members who meet the qualifications.”

I’m sort of confused which comes first: Do we eliminate the qualification standards before we promote by  grievance group, quota, or vice versa?

Because if our first priority is to be a federal jobs program rather than fight and win the nation’s wars, it’s terribly important that we get the sequencing right.

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Four Years in a Silo

Posted by Lex, on January 16, 2011


Noonan writes in Wired about his time as a missileer:

During a typical four-year tour, missileers spend more than a year separated from their families and work an average of 25 days a month on alert or in training. In the good old days, the oncoming alert force would show up at 0800 for a five-minute pre-deployment briefing. Thanks to Microsoft’s growing influence in the U.S. military, that five-minute weather and maintenance brief has ballooned into an hour-long PowerPoint extravaganza.

“Alerts” are something of a misnomer, another cultural handle better suited the Cold War. Two officers seal themselves behind a 4-ton blast door, in a small capsule similar in size to an 18-wheeler’s freight rig, for a 24-hour period. Remaining alert is the real challenge.

I’ve spent long, quiet hours with lights dimmed — reading, monitoring the status of the missiles, watching DVDs (Lost and Entourage were favorites), and fighting a growing sense of boredom, containment and isolation.

As I recall, the two on-duty missileers are each armed with a government issue sidearm. Since there’s nobody down there but the two man crew, safely protected by a blast hatch, the weapon could only be intended for the other watchstander.

You’ve got to wonder what that did for team-building.


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The Magnificent Seven

Posted By lex, on January 5th, 2011

Danger Room charts the rocks and shoals of some spectacular career-enders:

Commit this to memory, you valiant souls who put yourselves in harm’s way for your country: Do not film yourself making lewd remarks. Do not mouth off about your superiors with reporters present. Do not rage against the bureaucracy, do not humiliate the men and women under your command, and above all else, do not have sex with people you work with.

Navy Capt. Owen Honors was the latest military officer to learn these lessons, after his amateur blue-comedy vids cost him his command of the U.S.S. Enterprise yesterday. But chances are he won’t be the last. In the new issue of Proceedings, retired Capt. Kevin Eyer writes about the rise of a post-Cold War “zero-defects mentality” that strips officers of their commands for infractions unrelated to the accomplishment of their missions. He’s talking specifically about the Navy — which is more strict than other services about relieving officers — but that doesn’t mean officers from the Army, Marines or Air Force are safe from the phenomenon. The important thing is not to sabotage yourself…

Here’s our guide to seven of the stupidest, most boneheaded, most defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory unforced errors that have cost officers their jobs.

See the whole list at the link.

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Posted by Lex, on July 18, 2008


We used to joke back in the day about the difference between the Navy and the Air Force. It’s the little things that give it away. The oak paneled flight planning rooms that were decorated better than Navy officer’s clubs. The “step van” that would pick you up at transient alert and carry you all 50 yards to flight planning. The 36-hole golf courses that were completed before the airstrip got laid in. The “inadequate quarters” stamps that the USAF guys insisted on for their TAD orders that excused them from Army quarters to put them out in the Hilton in town.

The USAF pilots of my acquaintance would laugh and say, well: you guys have to buy ships. Like that was a vice or something. Like we had $6 billion burning a hole in our pockets after a three-day bender in Vegas and decided to burn it on an aircraft carrier.

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Helmet Head

Posted by lex, on April 10, 2008

Mine never looked quite this good after a mission.


For what its worth.

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Bob Norris on Navy vs USAF

by lex

Sun – March 27, 2005


An oldie , but a goodie. I sent this to SNO last year when he was applying to the several service academies, and ROTC programs. Sort of in the way of a joke, but it was interesting that shortly after that, he allowed his USAF applications to languish.

Bob Norris is a former Naval aviator who also did a 3 year exchange Tour flying the F-15 Eagle. He is now an accomplished author of entertaining books about US Naval Aviation including “Check Six” and “Fly-Off”. Check out his web site .

In response to a letter from an aspiring fighter pilot on which military academy to attend, Bob replied with the following:

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Cutaway Thursday: Convair B-36J Peacemaker



Filed under Aeronautical Engineering, Air Force, Airplanes, Flying, History, Plane Pr0n, USAF