Welcome to Warrior Wednesday, FighterSweep Fans! We continue to show our deep appreciation for the men and women in this community who don their flightsuits and G-suits daily, strap on 55 (Roll ‘Em!) to 69 thousand pounds of fire-breathing hardware, and roar off into the sky to rain hate and judgment on our nation’s enemies.

We spend a lot of time focusing on platforms, weaponry, and other tools of the trade, and while all of that is endlessly fascinating, at the end of the day, none of it means anything without the brave souls employing them.

Lieutenant Colonel Nicole "FIFI" Malachowski and Colonel Jeannie "Tally" Leavitt, both F-15E Strike Eagle pilots.
Lieutenant Colonel “FIFI” Malachowski and Colonel “Tally” Leavitt, both F-15E Strike Eagle pilots.

Fighter Pilot is an attitude,” said the late Brigadier General Robin Olds, a man whose life and exploits as a pilot, tactician, and leader are legendary among today’s aerial warriors.

“It is cockiness. It is aggressivness. It is self-confidence. It is a streak of rebelliousness and it is competitiveness. There’s something else; there’s a spark–there’s a desire to be good, to do well, in the eyes of your peers and in your own mind.”

As we have talked about in other instances, it takes a special kind of man or woman to do this job. Not only do fighter pilots have “super brains,” but they go toe-to-toe with death each and every time they climb into the cockpit, regardless of where they happen to be at home or abroad.

"Cheetah," "Glover," "T-Bone," "Chowmi," and other pilots from the 64 AGRS get their step brief before walking out to their jets for a training mission at Nellis AFB, Nevada.
“Cheetah,” “Glover,” “T-Bone,” and other pilots from the 64 AGRS get their step brief before walking out to their jets for a training mission at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

Our vision for this segment is to feature a warrior each week for some Q&A, speaking to who they are, what they do, and what drives them in their profession. You’ll get to see, firsthand, what makes them special and why we need to care about them–and the others like them.

Fighter Sweep welcomes F-35 pilot Justin Lee and his fantastic new podcast, 'The Professionals Playbook'

Read Next: Fighter Sweep welcomes F-35 pilot Justin Lee and his fantastic new podcast, 'The Professionals Playbook'

In the mean time, enjoy a few more photos to whet your appetite. “Warrior Wednesday” will be full-up before you know it!

Then-Lieutenant Sara "SHOT" Jenkins, 187 FW.
1st Lieutenant “SHOT” Ferrero, F-16C+ pilot with the Alabama ANG’s 187 FW.
"Moon" Doherty signals readiness to start the engines on his F-15E Strike Eagle prior to launch for a massive LFE at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina.
Colonel “Moon” Doherty signals readiness to start the engines on his F-15E Strike Eagle prior to launch for a massive LFE at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina.
"Quatro" Carvell, F-35A pilot with the 53 TEG at Nellis AFB, Nevada, taxis out for a test mission.
Major “Quatro” Carvell, F-35A pilot with the 53 TEG at Nellis AFB, Nevada, taxis out for a test mission.
"Pound, "MAC," and another F-15C pilot from the OR ANG's 123 FS step to their jets for a training mission.
“Pound, “MAC,” and another F-15C pilot from the OR ANG’s 123 FS step to their jets for a training mission.
"Fangs" prepares to launch his F-22A Raptor for a training mission at the USAF Weapons School.
Lieutenant Colonel “Fangs” Gilbert prepares to launch his F-22A Raptor for a training mission.

“I think it is love of that blue vault of sky that becomes your playground, if and only if you are a fighter pilot. You don’t understand it if you only fly from A to B, and straight and level, and merely climb and descend. You’re moving through the basement of that vault of blue. A fighter pilot is a man in love with flying. A fighter pilot sees not a cloud, but beauty; not the ground, but something remote from him, something he doesn’t belong to as long as he’s airborne. He’s man who wants to be second best…to no one.”

~Brigadier General Robin Olds