Home » History

Your Fighter Pilot Call Sign … The Process

From Slate – Chris Kibble, former F-16 pilot explains how you get your call sign … surprise, you do not get to name yourself … that would like giving yourself a nickname … one thing for certain, no one else will call you that. 🙂


“Ah, naming ceremonies. Among the best of times for fighter pilots. These parties are the highlight of the squadron social calendar. Everyone attends. Many get drunk. A few throw up. All have a good time.

These traditions change slightly over time. Each squadron’s ceremony is unique. And different communities (A-10, F-15, etc.) handle them in different ways. But here’s the PC version of some traditions followed by most Air Force F-16 squadrons.”

You can read the rest at Slate.


«  »
17 August 2013 History 2 Comments


  • 5oclockshadow says:

    Pretty cool. Unfortunately, we never had naming ceremonies in our squadron. All names came organically(usually while drunk on a detachment).
    Mine was ‘Big Papa’, because I had the most kids(3); and my first and middle initials were B.P. My buddy had it worse. He was ‘Bubbles’. He would wake up in his rack and nearly knock himself on the light above his head. We ended up putting bubble wrap all around his rack. It was also this time that Finding Nemo came out. So we would say his name like the fish in the aquarium. So many others; but most stories I can’t tell here.

  • MoMcQueen says:

    Oh, you have to love the military and their acronyms. I’m going to start giving the nickname ZEUS to people I know; they’ll think it’s a compliment but then wonder at the reason I’m snickering.  

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.