Maintainer Nation

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Maintainer Nicknames Part 1

Maintainer Nicknames Part 1

Military and Maintainer Nicknames Introduction

The readers of Maintainer Humor were asked to list funny maintainer nicknames or crew callsigns, and if needed to provide a short description of how they got it or what makes it funny. Please be advised that some might not be considered "family friendly" and we weren't able to use all submissions due to the 'adult" nature of some on the monikers. 

Due to the number of submissions this will be a multi-part blog. Brought to you courtesy of Challenge Coin Nation and the readers of Maintainer Humor. Enjoy! 


Guy holding an air hose

We had a guy who was just completely clueless and dangerous around aircraft. His last name was Lucero. He got the nickname Loose Air Hose.

New guy in AFSOC HQ walks into the Big Gun (Ammo/Weapons) area and a civilian excitedly welcomes him. He asks, “do you have a nickname”? New guy says, “no.” “Everyone on the staff has a nickname.” What do you want your nickname to be”? New guy says, “Hero”! Ammo Civ don’t miss a beat and says, “OK, your nickname is Kate. Welcome to AFSOC”! It stuck like glue.

Guy in our shop nicknamed No Duckin McGuckin. He's not a tall man...

Nita Gaskins - My nickname was, "I need a gas can". I'd walk in for a fuel can, “Oh, look Nita Gas cans needs a gas can.” Had a boss we called "JIC". We always got told to do something... "Just in case"

My favorite was one of our mechs that they called “Dial-up”. He was notoriously slow at doing anything, like a sloth. Also, one evening he fell asleep in his rack, watching corn on his laptop, equipment in hand, and rack curtains wide open.

We had a hydro guy named Sgt Rock. On a C5 when you go under the fuselage you have to watch out for the comm antennas. Most people get knocked down if they hit them. He ended up breaking one off when he hit it and it just put a crease in his forehead.

We had a tech that would come into our machine shop all of the time and want to use the mills/lathes. He wasn't the smartest kid, and we all collectively groaned when he would show up with some project he wanted to do. We eventually nicknamed him 96. The cover story was that he was really good, but not quite 100%. The real reason is that we joked that he was a quart short of a gallon, hence 96 ounces instead of 128.

Bull was a common one I got since my last name is Toro. Since my first name is Donald and everyone called me Don, my nickname before retirement was the "Don" of maintenance - kingpin of the maintenance mafia. It's even on my retirement plaque lol!! That was my favorite lol!

ed sullivan

David Sullivan - First base I was "Ed".

A kid at one base got called "hate crime" cause he came in with his head shaved and the TSgt looked at him and said he looked like he was going to commit a hate crime.

A-10 pilot Major Mass. Call sign “Kiss”.

Rooster - My last name at the time was Blocker. I also have red hair and wore a Dutch braid (inside out French) for anyone who needed a PG explanation.

We had one guy who we dubbed “Towelie”, cause well he looked like the human version of Towelie. Another kid we started calling Jimmy because his last name was Hendrickson.

Frank the Tank…just because I’m a big guy and I drank to excess

James Watkins - I got Twatkins for a little while. Didn’t last too long and it was pretty funny, so I wasn’t too bent out of shape. Probably why it didn’t last.

Rat Fingers. Because if I couldn't get a tool/part out of a black hole, no one could. Also "Willem Defoe's Illegitimate Younger Sister" and "Skeletor" then at last "Hangar Mom"

We had this crew chief that had a last name that was kinda long and hard to pronounce so we just called him roach.

Mine was turkey burger because I had turkey patty, rice, and veggies for a week and my shop thought that was unique I guess.

Didn't stick but there was a time when I was called Trousers because I wore pants to the beach in Hawaii.

Noah Mustard - Imagine being a crew chief with the last name Mustard.

Dan Gay - For some reason my nicknames were always related to my name tape.

I am not even sure if anyone even knows my real name. Everyone just called me “Silky”. Don’t know where it came from, but it happened around my second year at Ellsworth and it stuck.

Not mine but I read this recently and apparently Ewan McGregor’s brother was an RAF pilot and his call sign was Obi Two.

Micah Walker - Dr Quinn medicine woman until I became seasoned enough to be Walker Texas Ranger.

Peter Griffin Family Guy

We had a guy we used to call "Ding Fries" and the dude was about as smart as Peter from family guy.... actually Peter is probably smarter.

Alex Jimenez - Jim, because it was easier than trying to pronounce my last name.

Had a short annoying chief. His nickname was "lunch money" because he looked like he would get beat up.

I deployed with a guy we called orangutan tiddies.

My nickname became Goober. Made the mistake of itching the inside of my nose when I was a 19 year old A1C and got caught. Next thing I know I was Goober. Still wear it proudly.

Kevin Poole - Pool boy, easy for the low hanging fruit.

Birdstrike. Because he got a birdstrike to the canopy...... during towing.

Had a couple new troops show up from tech school at the same time. They got the names Beavis and Butthead. They looked and acted them to a tee (mainly the acted part).

Knew a guy called Bernie because when he talked he’d bob his head like Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s.

Josh Gilbert - Gilbobaggins. I guess it was always an adventure?

Blister for the guys who showed up after the work was done!!!

Rattles” because I always had my meds in my pocket.

Brian Freddie Friedewald - Miss America

I know a civilian A&P that is "Digger"... At the shop.. family...and his wife. He showed up to the job interview wearing a monster truck gravedigger hat. He’s had that going on 10 years.

My husband's former commander was P!nk's brother, he got the call sign Blue.

We had a guy named "Rooster". Our flight chief walked in when the kid was new, and he couldn't pronounce his name so he just said "alright, your name is rooster" and it kind of stuck

We have a guy who’s called MGR (Usually stands for Maintenance Ground Run) but special for him due to being a Military Grade R***d.

Another was called Jackpot because of his last name being Kitching (like a pokie machine hitting a jackpot, ka-ching)

My husband was called Bulldog. Still is. Short legs, long back, bull neck, and strong. He worked hard and was determined to get things done.

Not sure why, but some guy was called Not Mary.

We had a few back in the day. There was Oz cause he looked like he came from there. Then Hot Lunch since he disappeared during a launch during an ORI. Launch lunch he was confused. Then there was ET short for ETTT extra tough to train.

Domingo Muniz - I was No Marshall Muniz for a while. Had to make a C17 go around twice.. pilot wasn't happy.

Had a crew chief who wasn't a big guy but he had a gut on him. Called him "lunch box"

We had a new guy in the shop. I was trying to figure out how to say his name. Another guy knew him and said it sounded like "no jello". So I called him Puddin and it stuck

Pilots had the callsign of "Screech". When asked, it came about due to a near-miss with a car on the roads around the base.

"Precious" - This guy thought he was the most gorgeous man in existence. Every time he walked past a reflective surface he would flex and admire himself. He would even shout, "God I'm good looking!"

One guy was trash talking to another for getting some small girly kind of dog. So he tried to tease him by saying, "he's perfect you, he looks so fluffy". Joke was on him and everyone started calling him fluffy instead.

Back in the late ‘90s I was briefing a bunch of fighter pilots on the ALQ-131 pod and pointed out the I-beam construction and how it likely saved Scott O’Grady’s life. They all in unison started chanting “Hoover, Hoover, Hoover”! I asked one of them what that was all about and he said, “what’s a Hoover do”?

Wingtip because he busted a wingtip during a tow

One of our techs somehow walked into the MLG door of our Herc. It was propped up to inspect the brakes. He was bleeding pretty good and went to the base hospital. He came back sometime later with the most ridiculous bandage. It looked like a diaper. He is francophone (Quebec). I called him Tête de couche. (diaper head in French). It got shortened to cushy.

Knuckles. I was bald at 17 and shift super said he just wanted so bad to rap me on the head.

Blade runner poster

There was a guy that got sucked into a JT-8D on a 737-200 and lived. The IGV’s stopped him from getting sucked into the fan blades- New nickname ……. Blade Runner

One of the pilots at our unit has the call sign DRIFT. “Drive Right Into Fire Truck” mistook the fire department road way for a taxi way when they first arrived.

We had a “Sneezy”, that one came easy because he sneezed and split his head open on his work bench.

Brian Groll - Eggroll, Groll Scout, Grolly Polley

Mike Turley - MFT Michael F’n Turley

Mine was Lurch. I looked like Lurch from the Adams family when I had a shaved head.

Had a female troop on her third husband before 20 so she became "Man slayer"

Nick Kuykendall - I get all the ones you can think of from my last name. Also get called Ghoul, and Count Snacula. I always have snacks but still look like I'm skin and bones.

We had a pilot jump out of a running F-16 on the taxiway. They called him George (Ground Egress Over Running GE).

Had a guy who was brand new from training, insisted everyone call him cowboy. So he wound up being forever known as 'yeehaa'

Red Rope” who on his first day of permanent party, wore his technical school red rope to the flightline. He was roasted accordingly.

ATIS - A backseater who apparently could not stop talking.

Paddles, wiring the nose wheel steering backwards when a newbie and seven level didn't catch it...the crew got to experience it.

I worked at Test Pilot school and the best pilot one I've ever seen was an G18 driver and his call sign was PooDini... And an instructors call sign was Merkin.... And he flew the DHC-2 Beaver... so I would say... you're always covered if Merkin is your Beaver Pilot...

Needs more cowbell

James Campbell - Cowbell. Enough said!!!

We had a commander who started cracking down on names on lockers. At a roll call he says, "I don't want to see anything like Justin 'Big Dick' Ochs," so Justin Ochs became Justin BIG DICK Ochs

Guys last name is Laverdier, which became Lavender, which became Purple. To this day, there are people who only know him as Purple. One time I called the shop and he answered, and I said, "I'm looking for Purple". He said, "It's me..."

I got called Slack-ass before I arrived at my first duty station. That immediately got changed to Silverback because I walk a gorilla who stands on two feet.

We had A1C Dumais....nuf said.

Skippy” because he looked like Skippy on Family Ties.

Ground crewmember had a European name that had 14 letters and started with an I. No one could pronounce it so we called him "I-14"

When I was stationed in Germany, the maintenance chief (last name started with a K) of one of our AMU’s was mowing the grass outside the hangar on a weekend and the mower stuck a power box conduit. He suffered minor injuries and became ‘Super K.’

They call this kid Patches Houlihan because on his first day at work he showed up with none of his patches on his OCP jacket.

Don Urban - “Cowboy” as in Urban cowboy

Pretty hands- wore gloves for everything and never got his hands dirty.

Trunk monkey- roommate's gf forgot her base pass at their place in housing when they left base at night and climbed into the trunk, guess who got pulled for a random vehicle inspection and had to explain why there was a girl in the trunk at the gate.

We had an airman that we called Mike because she looked like a guy in our shop named Mike. She accepted it and from what heard it followed to her next duty station too.

Pilot's last name Overman. Callsign "Bender".

Had a student pilot named Ben Stein. Called him Clear Eyes.

Matthew Caneva - Mine was pretty good since my last name is pronounced the same as Kneivel.

One of my troops had a nickname Inch. When we changed from the bike test to running for PT testing I was telling my guys we had to get out and hit the track. He said he wasn't gonna do it. I told him he was gonna run, even if I had to check out a one-inch wrench and chase him around the parking lot. His response? "I got your one inch right here!"

Guy named Flop, his jet “flopped “ on a wing tip during an engine run, slid on the ice at Eielson.

We had a pilot with the call sign “spare parts” after he hit a herd of deer landing in Maine.

The Daledo- His name was Dale and f’ed everyone over constantly.

Col Busey- our MXG looked like Gary Busey.

Inspector Chase- our MOO would personally investigate every broken or part and accuse you of sabotage.

SOAP- we found out his dad was a 16/130 pilot, so we called him SOAP for Son Of A Pilot.

Hotpits- cause she was like Hotlips from MASH, and because she'd "hotpit" between "sorties"

Slingblade because I had a clumsy moment and about knocked myself out with a breaker bar during an engine change.

Captain Egress” for the new guy who pulled the copper safety wired yellow knob while he was supposed to be riding brakes during a tow. H-60 pilot’s door fell right onto the ramp.

Tree Slayer” for the H-60 pilot who landed in the trees and knocked off all four tip caps.

Pilot with call sign Two Dogs, because he let it slip that he had Native American heritage (from the old joke,” Where did you get your name, Two Dogs F’ing?”)

Another pilot who ground off at least two sets of F-16 speed brakes, call sign Scratch.

Squirrel. I cut my own hair (high & tight) and one day I wanted to leave some on top. Co-worker looked at me Monday morning, laughed then said, “you look like you have a squirrel on your head!”

When I was a young civilian intern, I went to Squadron Officer School in residence. While being the token civilian in my flight of CGOs, I got the call sign “Flipper” while practicing volleyball. I went up to spike the ball, missed, and ended up flail.

Michael Petry - Petry "Dish"

My first office called me Enigma, because they all think I was sent here from another universe and that I don’t belong in this one.

Latex; chewed on a condom because he thought it was gum.

Ratchet; when he laughed/talked his square jaw ratcheted up and down but nothing else moved.

Neck Beard, clean shaved every day, but had a 5:00 shadow by noon but only in his neck

P-nut. He thought the hydraulic line nuts on the -135's were called P-Nuts.

Watching the credits to Top Gun once, they were crediting the Naval Aviators that consulted on the film. Pilot’s last name Cox, callsign Horse.

I was Mama for a while because I joined late in age and as the “old lady” I mother henned quite a few of my kids. Dammit Maynard was pretty popular for obvious reasons. And a not so secret one was “tits” because my tits got jammed in an access panel for maintenance and I got stuck.

"Brokeback" Roman, no disc between L5 and S1 waiting surgery.

First nickname was “Cheeks” because when I first got I’s & E’s they pushed me out in the bunny suit and booties, my line badge was on the truck, then they called SF on me and SF decided to have a field day with me putting my cheek on the deck and weapons drawn. They were in on it, too.

The Origins of Monikers: Uncovering the Stories Behind Military Nicknames

Military life is known for its strong sense of camaraderie and tight-knit bonds among service members. Within this brotherhood and sisterhood, one common tradition stands out: the practice of giving each other nicknames. But why do military personnel feel compelled to bestow these quirky and oftentimes unconventional monikers upon one another? The answer lies in the unique environment and shared experiences that shape their lives.

In the realm of military service, nicknames serve multiple purposes. They foster a sense of belonging and create a sense of unity among comrades. The crucible of basic training or the rigors of deployment often forge unbreakable connections between soldiers, and these nicknames become a testament to those shared hardships. Additionally, nicknames can act as a form of self-expression and allow service members to embrace their individuality while still remaining part of the larger military community. Whether it's a nod to a remarkable skill, a humorous incident, or simply a character trait that stands out, these monikers tend to capture the essence of a person in a way that their official title or rank cannot.

Famous Figures and Their Colorful Aliases: Exploring Military Nicknames Throughout History

Military personnel have a long-standing tradition of giving each other nicknames. It's an aspect of the military culture that goes beyond the battlefield and into the camaraderie developed within the ranks. The practice of nicknaming one another serves various purposes, like fostering bonding, boosting morale, and creating a sense of identity within a unit. It's a way for soldiers to connect on a personal level, breaking through the formalities of rank and hierarchy. These nicknames often reflect specific characteristics, experiences, or unique skills of an individual, making them distinctive and memorable among their comrades.

One of the reasons why military people give each other nicknames is to create a sense of camaraderie and unity within their units. In the face of adversities and challenges, soldiers rely on their fellow comrades for support and trust. Nicknames serve as a form of familiarity and closeness, breaking down barriers and enhancing the sense of belonging. Whether it's a result of shared experiences during training or through the grit and determination shown on the battlefield, these nicknames bind soldiers together and create a unique bond that transcends the formalities of military life. Moreover, nicknames also provide a way to boost morale just like morale patches do, and inject humor into the often intense and stressful situations military personnel find themselves in. A lighthearted nickname can bring relief in difficult times and help soldiers maintain a positive mindset, even in the darkest hours.

Heroes and Legends: How Military Nicknames Honor Bravery and Valor

Military personnel have a long-standing tradition of bestowing nicknames upon one another. These monikers serve as a form of camaraderie, a way for soldiers to bond in the face of adversity. The use of nicknames in the military helps foster a sense of belonging and unity, creating a unique culture within the ranks.

One of the primary reasons why military people give each other nicknames is to commemorate acts of bravery and valor on the battlefield. These names often draw upon a soldier's heroic actions, serving as a constant reminder of their courage. By bestowing such nicknames, the military honors those who have demonstrated exceptional bravery, creating a sense of recognition and admiration among their peers. These names become symbols of honor, reminding everyone of the bravery and sacrifices made by their fellow comrades.

About Challenge Coin Nation

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