Real ‘Top Gun’ School Fines Pilots $5 for Quoting Film

by Megan Molseed
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If you are attending TOPGUN, the United States Navy’s elite fighter pilot training school, and are feeling “the need, the need for speed,” it’s best to keep the phrase to yourself. Well, unless you want to face some fines.

According to retired Navy commander Guy “Bus” Snodgrass, TOPGUN students who reference some of the iconic lines and phrases born from the hit 1986 Tom Cruise classic Top Gun will be fined $5 per incident. The rule is set in place to keep their pilots focused, notes the US Navy TOPGUN instructor.

In his book, TOPGUN’s Top 10: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit, Snodgrass notes that pilots need to always be at the top of their game. And, the commander notes, this means no joking around in school.

No ‘Top Gun’ Quotes At TOPGUN

According to Snodgrass, the reason for this “no Top Gun movie quotes” rule has nothing to do with TOPGUN instructors getting tired of hearing the popular phrases from the iconic film. Sure phrases like “talk to me goose;” “you can be my wingman anytime;” or “I am dangerous,” are likely ones TOPGUN officials have heard quite often over the last four decades. And they no doubt are likely tired of the joke. However, the reasons TOPGUN instructors made this $5 fine rule has nothing to do with the Top Gun jokes getting old. There is actually quite a bit more to this rule, says Snodgrass.

The Navy commander does acknowledge the urge junior officers likely feel to make these kinds of jokes during their early days at TOPGUN. An iconic flick such as this has become a part of our regular dialogue. It has become “ingrained in our culture to a certain extent,” Snodgrass notes.

“But,” but the NAVY instructor notes. “when you get to TOPGUN because it is such a professional organization and you want to emphasize that you are at the top of your game, that it’s about professionalism, about good leadership.”

This, the commander explains, means that you don’t turn TOPGUN into something funny.

“You don’t turn TOPGUN into a joke by referencing the movie,” Snodgrass explains.

Maverick Is Back!

Top Gun fans have been waiting a long time – nearly four decades – for a sequel to 1986’s smash hit. Now, the newest addition to the Tom Cruise hit film has a release date, May 27, 2022. And, Top Gun: Maverick will certainly be worth the wait.

“It was so fun,” notes one of the stars of the film, Manny Jacinto of filming the upcoming release.

“I mean, man, we shot that three years ago,” the Top Gun star adds. Jacinto goes on to note that fans have been waiting a long time for this film’s release.

“Tom does not disappoint,” the star notes of the Top Gun star. “It was the best experience and I’m so, so excited for people to check it out.”

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