The Air Force says it is down 200 fighter pilots this year. On top of that, just 65 percent of the pilots are staying on the job past 11 years, which is a 15 percent drop off from 1993, according to the Air Force Times. As a result, the Air Force projects that it could be short some 700 pilots by 2021. Such a shortfall represents roughly one quarter of the total 3,000 flyer pilots in the Air Force.
AOL ran this story about fighter pilots today, and I had so many questions as I read it. Only 200 pilots a year? Just 700 pilots by 2021? How many Wendy's Baconators could I buy with $225,000? Wait, there's an Air Force Times?
Just an overload of questions, and the most important was, How am I not a fighter pilot yet?
Of course, if I enlisted, New York City's youth would lose a teacher with a limitless supply of corny jokes. That wouldn't be good. But I would be a Maverick-level pilot.
I looked into the basic requirements to enlist as a fighter pilot, and I met all of them. Be a U.S. citizen: check. Be between 17 and 27 years of age: check (barely). Have a high school diploma: check.
I was practically packing my bags for the Top Gun Training Center. After all, I used to dominate the After Burner arcade game.
Then, I remembered. The color-blindness. I've been stricken with that horrible condition since birth, just another reason why I hate my genes. I guess I'll have to forego that huge signing bonus and fighter-pilot lifestyle, and instead settle for the black-and-white world that I currently inhabit.
Oh, well. Maybe I'll eventually see that type of cash when advertisers start flocking to How Blank. (You listening, Wendy's?)