17 April 2012

Sound Off! Officer Pilots

Do aircraft pilots have to be officers?

Sound off below!

By: Brant


Brian said...

Q: How do you know there's a fighter pilot in the room?

A: He'll tell you.

Brant said...

How do you know when the fighter pilot has turned off the engines?

You can still hear the whining.

besilarius said...

No. The Navy had Fighting Squadron 2, the Flying Chiefs, on the carrier Lexington during the 1930s. The only officers were the squadron leaders, all the pilots were CPOs and warrants.
Jocko Clark, who was one of Mitscher Task Group commanders in the Pacific, was their CO for about two years.
According to him, those guys were worth three pilot officers. All they did was fly, no admin, no paperwork, no leadership. Just fly.
He also said they were good enough that the squadron regularly had night carrier operations during the Fleet Exercises on the 30s and 40s. During the Pacific War, after everyone became officers, the fleet did not even try night flying ops until 1944.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, seriously for once, pilots do not have to be officers. During world War 2 most Commonwealth country air forces had "Sergeant pilots" who flew. Some squadrons created a joint "Pilot's Mess" to erase the distinction between conmmissioned and non-commissioned flyers.


Guardian said...

Another vote for flying NCOs and, especially, warrant officers.

In the military and throughout American society, I think we keep trying to force leadership on people who don't want to be leaders. They just want to fly, drive tanks, be a door-kicker, be a sniper, write software, make cars, or whatever. This creates a lot of ineffective leaders. I also think it might even create a viscous cycle where a few bad leader creates an artificial demand for another bad leader to manage them and so on, forcing us to scrape even deeper on the bottom of the leadership barrel.

Brian said...

This is tied in with a lot of that bogus
that gets handed around in our society.
The thing that made Bill Gates remarkable is that there are not very many Bill Gateses, and you can't guarantee personal success or progress if you just look at him and scale your life down accordingly.
I agree that lots of people in life just want to do stuff and make things, without necessarily being crazy maverick innovator ninja guerrillas (see how the pseudo-military labels crop up here too, that bugs me as well). And we really need these people, more than ever before.