Genesis of a Snowflake
After the 1986 release of the movie ‘Top Gun’, it was reported that the USN saw a 500% increase of young men wanting to become Naval Aviators. Although I had already made an attempt to join the Canadian military as a pilot and was instead accepted as an Air Navigator, the movie still validated my decision to join the Air Force. Movies, TV, and celebrities are powerful motivators that influence people’s thinking and ambitions. Ironically, Tom Cruise’s dyslexia would have precluded him from being considered as a Naval Aviator. The cold, hard truth is many dreams are impossible. Borrowing some USAF statistics, supposedly out of 2000 prospects walking through the recruiting door, only one will eventually earn their wings. Many of those people who fail will accept their shortcomings but the more popular route being drilled into our youth is to blame outside forces.
The letter pictured above popped up in my LinkedIn newsfeed. This father’s 10 year old girl perceives that because of gender bias she will have trouble attaining her dream of becoming an airline pilot. She feels that it should be ‘Only Girls -˃ Then Boys’. The vast majority of comments are along the lines of ‘You go Girl! Tell it like it is!’. Only one person came out to contradict her position with this statement, ‘I work for an airline. 28 years. I have lots of experience. Someone needs to tell this girl that what she’s seeing and hearing isn’t true. I’ve flown with lots of female pilots and male flight attendants. She has every chance in the world. All she really needs is someone to believe in her dream with her.’ It would be interesting to know where this girl is getting her beliefs from. My guess is the constant bombardment from the MSM, celebrities, and feminists stating that women are being treated unfairly by a paternalistic society is to blame.
It seems that her home state of California has some of the strictest gender equity laws in the country. People in the industry and my own considerable experience in the field would say she’s got as much of a shot at being a pilot as any boy would. The USN trained their first six women Naval Aviators in 1974. In point of fact, to become an airline pilot having deep pockets is more of a factor than a great flying aptitude or good ‘hands and feet’. Archie Bunker is long gone and has been replaced by legions of well-meaning cheer leaders extolling the virtues of women. If anything, the gender playing field is as level or tipped in favour of women as it has ever been.
I would like to use the example of my daughter’s route to becoming a RCAF pilot to help illustrate the point I’m trying to make.
At the age of 12, she joined the 386 Komox RCACS. During her ‘career’ with the Air Cadets, she was the head of the First Aid Team & Precision Drill Team, became an accomplished shooter, a decent Biathaloner, became the Drum Major and finished as the Squadron Commander of 100 plus kids. She attended camps each summer and earned her glider and power licenses. I’ve flown with her and she’s got better ‘hands and feet’ than her old man. She finished off Cadets with a prestigious exchange trip to Europe.
Within weeks of her return to Canada, she went to the Royal Military College in Kingston, ON to begin her engineering degree. Attending a military college is difficult enough to just survive let alone graduate with an Aeronautical Engineering degree. In addition, she eventually became the head of the Highland Dance club and was very active in the Fencing Club. She has just returned from participating with the CAF contingent sent to the World Military Fencing Tournament in Italy.
Last November, I had the great pleasure to present her with her Wings and promotion to Lieutenant in Moose Jaw, SK. She has since trained to become a Category ‘C’ instructor, flew one of the Harvard II’s over Ottawa for the Canada 150 Flypast and represented the RCAF at Edmonton’s airshow. After her tour as an instructor, she will probably be asked to attend the Hawk course for eventual CF-18 training.
My daughter is 25 and accomplished all of the above through her hard work and ambition, NOT because she’s a woman. She actually becomes quite angry at any mention of her success being because of her sex. It demeans the incredibly hard work and effort she and her fellow female military friends have put into creating successful military careers.
There should be no substitute for hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Merit alone should be the basis for selection. The girl in the letter is already setting the stage for her own failure, ready to blame the misogynistic old boys club if her dream of becoming a pilot doesn’t come to fruition. Blaming others for your own failings and lack of hard work is a characteristic of the ‘Snowflake’ generation. Reality is even with all the dedicated effort in the world, you may not succeed just because you don’t measure up.
To quote Lt Worf, “If winning does not matter, than why do you keep score?”