Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Randomness - Navy Calls Signs and Other Drunk Stuff

Oh to have a cool call sign. I mean really cool, like Maverick, Iceman, or Jester, Cool. Actually a certain Paramount Pictures movie killed those call signs and Goose forever. Which makes them really un-cool call signs.

Someone asked the other day about Cedar's "call sign" we'll get to that later. No its not Cedar Posts. But what a great call sign, that would be tied to how I flipped a T-38 while landing a little too hot and merged with a line of Cedar Posts and Barbed Wire Fence. The story would go something like this

Sidebar: Its "Barbed Wire" even if y'all myself included say "barbwire". 

So I get this email from a bunch of Navy guys down in Jacksonville. They are looking for a place to stay in Charleston and stumbled on to one of the many boats we rent for charters, overnight stays and harbor cruises.

"Good evening,

I was interested in renting out the your yacht from 02-04 February. 

It would be for myself and 3 of my friends. We are heading to Charleston for my friend's wedding. We are all senior Officers who fly for the United States Navy, ranging in age from 32-37. There will not be any pets, kids, and none of us smoke. 

Would a flat rate of $350/night be available by any chance as we are on a slightly limited budget. We Would really appreciate renting your incredible yacht for Thursday night through Saturday morning and will make sure we take good care it. 

If you would like any official U.S. Navy gear let me know and will bring it up from Naval Air Station Jacksonville! 

Thank you for your time.

Very Respectfully,

Nicholas "Gel" Strelchuk

VR-62 Transport Aircraft Commander
VR-62 Operations Officer Duty Office: 555-555-1212
Office:  555-555-1212
Cell: 555-555-1212"

Typical NAVY guy all super polite and professional. So of course I say yes. But I do note that his call sign is "Gel".

Most call signs are given early on, some stay forever "Sully" the US Airways pilot who "ditched" his Airbus 320 in the Hudson River, earned his call sign early on as an Air Force Cadet, a play on his name Sullenberger. Much like Lieutenant Commander Tim Meyers below.

However not all play on names call signs are as glamorous.

Female pilots are not exempt from "uncomfortable" call signs.

Many a pilot has lost a good call sign for a less than attractive one, "Ace" became "Crunch" after he backed a tug into his own aircraft thinking he knew were reverse was and "Mad Max" became "Harpo" because he was constantly telling people how much he loved Oprah Winfrey. Harpo is as you may know Oprah backwards.

The name "Fingers" stuck to me from day one. I made the mistake of jokingly spinning the dial on the paymaster's safe while standing in line while he wasn't looking and much to my shock and dismay it opened. Nothing I did could get it to close. The weight of the reinforced steel door and it not being level kept it swinging open. I'd push it back he'd glance my way and just as he looked the other way it would start to swing back open. Those in line were dutifully surprised and humored at my sudden predicament, and so my "Fingers" call sign was born thanks to my safe cracking skills. So there you got, that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Sailors and Marines like it or not are joined at the hip, the Army (Girl Scouts) gets some respect and the Air Force (Chair Force)? Seldom do they see any respect. So to those that are confused here a primer, you'll see what I mean.

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