Vance Air Force Base in Enid is full of Bronies
8:30 AM EDT on July 31, 2013
In life, there are certain truths that will never be refuted. One of these truths is that cartoons are awesome. It doesn’t matter if Bugs Bunny is tricking Daffy into saying “duck season,” if Fred Flintsone is throwing a bowling ball from his tiptoes, or if Babar is teaching his kids life lessons with stories from his past. In all these cases, cartoons not only have the power to entertain, but to soothe your soul. Also, they apparently have the ability to help the Air Force train flight classes.
Yes, that’s right. And it’s happening at Vance Air Force Base in Enid. According to Medium.com:
Earlier this month, word hit the Internet that an Air Force unit training to fly America’s most advanced military aircraft are wearing a patch inspired by the television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
Now the Air Force has confirmed it: bronies are flying jets.
“We train world-class pilots who will go on to defend our great nation,” 1st Lt. Tom Barger, a public affairs officer at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, tells War is Boring. “Fostering camaraderie, morale and unity on a regular basis and through small means — like a tastefully humorous patch — enhances our ability to complete the mission when working as a team is essential.”
The pink and purple patch — first spotted by My Little Pony fan site Equestria Daily — and worn by 24 flight students from Joint Undergraduate Specialized Pilot Class 14-05, references the cable cartoon show about a team of magical ponies. Although criticized by some as a cynical bid to get children to purchase plastic pony products (it’s a reboot from the 1980s), the show — which airs weekday afternoons on the Hub Network — became a cult phenomenon that’s now spread to the armed forces.
So let’s break this down, for those of you who either aren’t a member of Gen Y or don’t frequent Reddit. A brony is a teenage or adult male who likes My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The word comes from combining bro and pony. Simple enough, right? “But why?” you undoubtedly want to ask. Well, I can’t help you there, and I even had a My Little Pony growing up—the blue one with the rainbow on the butt, whichever one that is. I only assume that this fandom grew out of the sheer awesomeness of cartoons.
So, what started as a joke is now a patch that is worn by the Joint Undergraduate Specialized Pilot Class 14-05. And while there is a part of me that seriously wants to say that this fluke vote is why Vance Air Force Base can’t have nice things, there is a bigger part of me that wants to make a list of possible cartoons to use for future patches. So, without further ado, I bring you the list of cartoons that should’ve been considered for patches. (Feel free to use any of these next time around, Vance.)
He-Man (or Adam)
I was a He-Man fan by default. As a younger sister, I remember watching it a lot with my big brother, and also wearing his He-Man shirt when it got too small for him. If there’s something that perfectly embodies the fighting spirit of the Air Force, it’s He-Man’s furry underpants and metal harness. The patch could totally be in the shape of his sensible bob haircut.
DADT is behind us, guys. Let’s get some rainbows on those uniforms.
Jem was truly, truly outrageous. But what does Jerrica Benton, the record label owner/Jem, the secret rock star, have to do with defending this country? Well, her earring-controlled computer, Synergy, was probably a precursor to the modern drone.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Krang is the best cartoon character every created. Krang got things done. Whether it was coercing Shredder to make that human-shaped body suit or powering up the Technodrome, Krang was a badass. This is the type of attitude that the Air Force needs to adopt. Also, a disembodied brain with arm-like limbs would be an awesome patch.
Spencer asked that we include his favorite cartoon.
Inspector Gadget was the best cyborg of all time. Granted, his niece, Penny, did all the actual detective work. But it didn’t matter, because Dr. Claw and Chief Quimby still thought that Gadget was the crime stopper. Not that I’m insinuating in any way that the Air Force is oblivious to the fact that someone else is doing the hard work. I’m just saying, if it’s an option to have someone else get their hands dirty and let you take credit for it, do it. Work smarter, not harder.
Again, Air Force. More rainbows.
Update: Here's a pic of the badge-thingie:
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