Unless you like to get pummeled in the ready room, this is exactly what you shouldn’t do before you try to become a fighter pilot.
Ensign Shannon Ray Anderson wrote a self-help book that promises to show anyone who is interested the path to become a fighter pilot. But there’s a catch: Anderson is not a fighter pilot.
He’s a student at Training Wing 2, flying T-45 Goshawks. He doesn’t have wings of gold, hasn’t made it through a Fleet Replacement Squadron, or hit any of the milestones that make a fighter pilot a fighter pilot. Besides his initial flight training, he’s as much of a fighter pilot as everyone at Scoop Deck.
Yet his book, “Becoming a Fighter Pilot in 2011 and Beyond” went viral. Well, it’s more like making fun of it went viral. It’s been hammered on forums and accumulated nearly two dozen reviews on Amazon, including many that are the funniest things published all week. The reviews started appearing Jan. 26 en masse and fall into four categories: satirical, hostile, please please please don’t let him end up in my squadron, and critical of anyone who is doing anything to publicly embarrass Anderson while implying that private embarrassment is perfectly fine. It’s pretty clear that most, if not all reviewers didn’t read the book’s 134 pages. Here’s some of the many highlights to consider before forking over $70.28 for your own copy:
“Before you read a book about how to ‘Become a Fighter Pilot in 2011 and Beyond,’ you should probably make sure the author is ACTUALLY a fighter pilot, because in this particular instance, he is not. In fact, by the time this book went to print, this kid had never even stepped a foot in a jet, let alone a fighter jet. This book is the equivalent of a virgin writing a book about how to become a pornstar.”
-ACTUAL Fighter Pilot
“I left off one star because it didn’t address how to drown out the sound of how awesome I am when I am trying to sleep at night.”
“As a P-3 Pilot, myself and the rest of the community is desperately praying that you WILL NOT DQ at the boat.”
“I must admit I am disappointed in some of my peers. Banter, jokes, harsh words, etc all have a place in aviation, but where they belong is in the Ready Room.”
-Naval Aviator Instructor
Naval aviation is one of the tightest communities in the military, and probably has the strongest sense of self-identity. And as one reviewer pointed out, with this book Anderson is claiming membership to an exclusive club he’s not really a part of. And as another mentioned, the book is going to bring a ton of unwanted attention that may score him a new callsign: Bullseye.
It’s probably safe to say that there won’t be a second edition.