Jerimiah Weed: The Truth of the Legend

The story of how shots of Jeremiah Weed came to be a fighter pilot tradition has been told many times, with more versions than you can imagine. And that is why its time to retell it. There are two things I really like about this story. First, unlike many traditions, it didn’t happen in any…

A Nickel on the Grass: The Real Story

Greek mythology states that the ferryman of Hades, Charon, requires payment of one coin to ferry a soul across the River Styx that separates the worlds of the living and the dead. Coins were typically placed in the mouths of loved ones before burial to ensure safe passage to the underworld. Over time this has…

On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs

In the 2014 movie American Sniper, there is an early scene at the dinner table where Chris Kyle’s father tells him that there are three kinds of people in the world: wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs. In a manner not unlike how Steven Spielberg’s 1975 Jaws re-introduced the world to the story of the USS Indianapolis…

Roll Call and the Squadron Bar

  “HACK!” yells the Mayor at the start of every Roll Call. You’d better not be late, and if you can’t make it you’d better have already checked in. Every fighter squadron in the Air Force has a bar located within its confines, it’s renaming as a “heritage room” is inconsequential as it still serves…

If WWI were a Bar Fight

Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of a pub when Serbia bumps into Austria and spills Austria’s pint. Austria demands Serbia buy it a complete new suit because there are splashes on its trouser leg. Germany expresses its support for Austria’s point of view. Britain recommends that everyone calm down a…

Air Supremacy II: Re-learning Asymmetry

[This was previously published on Leading Edge and is a continuation of a previous article in a series] There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still. Franklin D. Roosevelt The founding fathers of military aviation had an uphill battle in advocating the value of airpower to their doubtful Army…