Pilot Callsigns

The web's largest collection of callsign stories

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The Three Rules of Callsigns

  1. If you don't already have one, you will be assigned one by your "buddies".
  2. You probably won't like it.
  3. If you complain and moan too much about 1. and 2., you'll get a new nickname you'll like even less!

So, how do you get a callsign?

Do something stupid or have it fit with your last name. Obvious examples, 'Crash' or LT 'Cheese' Kraft. Sometimes it's based on a physical appearance thing like 'Carrot'. After you've earned the respect of your buddies, you'll get a more 'heroic' callsign.

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Submit a Callsign - and don't forget the story!

Most recent additions

Our callsigns list contains 1562 callsigns. Here are the latest additions:

Riot

 (added: 28 Mar 2022)
Flight Doc. Fitness nut always kept bottles of water in his helmet bag on left console behind throttle. One of his first flights while taxiing to the arming area, he reaches for his helmet bag and the handle snags the throttle advancing it to near mil-power. Random inputs on throttle - RIOT.

Angry

 (added: 28 Mar 2022)
Thunderbird 9 - Flight Doc. Always nice - gets really yappy. Perfectly described his personality

Clutch

 (added: 14 Apr 2022)
Selected in AD pilot training for Project Season (AD guy placed in a Guard unit for 'seasoning'!) Spent a year in A-7s that transitioned to F-16s (blk 42s) for the last 2 years... I had also been prior enlisted (avionics guy on C-141s and C-5s) and wanted to fly heavies after the guard tour; so the board named me "Clutch" after the 1960s cartoon Clutch Cargo...

Lizzard

 (added: 19 Apr 2022)
I have a very long tongue. For some reason I kept sticking it out at the club. Some young lady started calling me by that name. Fellow pilots started calling me that so I started putting it on the briefing board. I didn't know how to spell it correctly being a Marine, thinking it had two Z's. It stuck.

Bonk

 (added: 19 Apr 2022)
A new Marine Lt. after getting to his first Hornet squadron often followed the skipper quite closely. If the skipper stopped too quickly the Lt. would "Bonk" into him.

Batta

 (added: 19 Apr 2022)
Marine Lt. Pohl while stationed in Iwakuni Japan seemed to take great pleasure in eating grasshoppers after drinking.. Batta means grasshopper in Japanese..

Vader

 (added: 5 Jun 2022)
Vader as in Darth Vader; Norwegian pilot named Vidar came to flight school. He didnt have a callsign and was quite big and menacing looking so he became Vader

NAVY

 (added: 5 Jun 2022)
A bad landing causes unnecessary wear and tear to the fighter's landing gear, like on an aircraft carrier.

Sparky

 (added: 6 Jun 2022)
Was playing around in survival training and showed a few of the crew how to start a fire with some copper wire and a battery. Cause I much bigger spark than planned, lighting an entire book on fire.

Daily

 (added: 6 Jun 2022)
I'm a woman whose first and last name starts with Ta, and was thus christened as "Ta-Tas". Unfortunately someone way up the totem pole overheard it and demanded we stop using it. I spent the next few days complaining to anyone who would listen about having my callsign revoked by some humorless admin type that someone finally said "My god it's like every day is your time of the month." I immediately became known as Daily after that.

Multi

 (added: 9 Jun 2022)
RAF crewman, surname Storey.

Bloodlust

 (added: 11 Jun 2022)
I was a young Infantryman in the Marine Corps. While serving in Iraq, I got pulled into the S1 during deployment to help out when they lost personnel (I had the highest GT Score in the Bn). I got to know the attached Pilot--call sign "Dangle"--and drove him and the other officers around. During some of our drives I kept talking about how I couldn't wait to get back to the Line (front line unit). I finally got transferred back to a weapons platoon. Two weeks later, I got asked, "What's going on Bloodlust? Do you miss us yet?" I was the only person who got to use my callsign over the Bn radio network instead of the traditional method, due to it spreading like wildfire among the officers.

Cheese

 (added: 13 Jun 2022)
Last name was Mack. “Mac and Cheese”. Simple enough

Easy

 (added: 20 Jun 2022)
Scott “Easy” Rider, nuff said

Lube

 (added: 9 Sep 2019)
Initials are K.Y.

Church

 (added: 9 Oct 2019)
Last name Iglesias

Ice Cream

 (added: 20 Oct 2019)
As an LT, they would remember my first name (Daniel) before my last name. It turned into Lieutenant Daniel, then shortly thereafter Lieutenant Dan, which reminded them of Forrest Gump when Forrest said “LT Dan....Ice Cream!”. Call Sign - ”Ice Cream”.

Cotton Ball

 (added: 30 Oct 2019)
She made the mistake of trying to give herself the callsign "CinderBlock" and shorten it to CB. We ran with the CB and changed it to Cotton Ball.

ELF

 (added: 8 Nov 2019)
Engage Lots of Friendly during my ACM course.

ZEUS

 (added: 28 Dec 2019)
Given to me by my squadron at Wright-Pat. I had a task I was taking my time getting around to. My supervisor came to my desk and asked me what the progress was, I lied and said "It's nearly done" He then asked me to pull it up and show him. He sat there and watched me complete the spreadsheet from start to finish and bestowed my callsign/nickname ZEUS. He said it stood for "Zero Effort Unless Supervised". It stuck with me my entire Air Force career.

Fearless

 (added: 22 Nov 2019)
During fighter qualification volunteered to fly extra night ground attack (night owl) missions after having qualified in all categories. . Consensus that I was either a dumbshit or fearless.Fortunately squadron mates at the alcohol fueled naming ceremony liked the alliteration of Fearless Fred. Thank God!

Bushwacker

 (added: 22 Nov 2019)
There used to be 30-foot-tall trees on short final where I was doing type conversion in a prop job. I cut 'em down to ten feet. Still got one of the twigs I pulled out of the cowling that day..

Preacher

 (added: 30 Nov 2019)
My name is Jim Jones. A short time before I began UPT a reverend with the same name had caused a large group of people to drink poisoned kool aid in a bizarre religious cult ritual in Guyana. In typical tacair fashion this was deemed the perfect call sign for a newly minted air force pilot. I ended up 11fx and assigned to the F-15C, so I would have answered to any silly thing they wanted to call me. :)

Caddy

 (added: 3 Dec 2019)
Three of my instructors were playing a game of golf in the park with a Wal-Mart sand wedge and a sleeve of tennis balls. I saw them and asked to join them, but a sleeve of balls only has three. So they made me caddy for them, running the club between each golfer, cleaning it, and "suggest" clubs--of which there was only one. Good shots were given a "good choice, Caddy," and bad shots the opposite. The name just stuck. Years later, one of them was helping me build a deck at my house, and our wives were talking and watching. I made a raunchy joke, and my wife used my real name. His wife was surprised; having known me for years, she didn't know what it was.

Amber

 (added: 4 Dec 2019)
He disappeared so frequently from work they had to send out the [insert callsign] for him to come back.