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Aviator call sign

An aviator call sign or callsign is a nickname given to a military pilot or other flight officer. This call sign is a substitute for the officer's given name, and is used on name tags, planes, and radio conversations.

The etymology for an aviator's call sign is varied. Most call signs play on or reference on the aviator's surname. Examples (taken from Top Gun credits) include

Other inspirations for call signs, using examples from characters in Top Gun or from a book (ISBN 0879384425) with a chapter on the subject: Aviator call signs nearly always must come from a member of the aviator's squadron, training class, or other coworker. Some stick with the aviator forever, while in other cases an aviator might have a series of call signs throughout his or her career.