My call Sign "FiFi"

My call Sign "FiFi"

Nicole Malachowski |

The story behind my call sign “FiFi” has a few details that are technically NSFW. But, if I meet you in person sometime, and you buy me a craft brewed beer, I’ll be more than happy to share.

Receiving a call sign, often marked by a ‘naming ceremony’, indicates the moment that your squadron has deemed you worthy of flying alongside them in combat. Arguably, there is no higher honor than being trusted to go to war as someone’s wingman.

When I was selected to become a Thunderbird pilot, Air Force Public Affairs wanted to ensure they knew the story behind my call sign, due to expected media interest. Once hearing the full story, they quickly decided we needed something a bit more fitting for public consumption. Lucky for us, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of WWII had a unit mascot whose name happened to have been “FiFi”. So, by serendipity, my call sign was “FiFi”. While many people think the genesis of my call sign had provenance in the WASP historic legacy, that is not true. I simply got lucky to have such a historic connection and it is, indeed, something that makes me proud to be known as “FiFI”. And now you know the rest of the story.

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