Mind – My first interaction with the 34th Fighter squadron, coined the Rude Rams, occurred at Nellis AFB, or I should really say it was my wife Lisa’s first interaction. The squadron is appropriately named. If you think about it, a Ram is pretty rude, they charge about smashing their think bony skulls into other Rams or tough inanimate objects. On the particular night in question I was still enrolled in Fighter Weapons School, yet to be assigned to my follow on squadron, Lisa and I were enjoying a fairly standard Nellis officers’ club night full of friends and good stories after a week of tough flying. Red Flag was in town though, meaning it was an especially large night. Fighter pilots have a tradition of toasting a comrade then chucking their scotch glasses into a fireplace. Rude Rams not to be deterred by a lack of fireplace, however, decided to toast and chuck their glasses into the ladies rest room…to my wife’s surprise as shattering glass left her and a few other ladies shrieking as the glass frag pattern filled the powder room. Fortunately, collateral damage was minimal, except for the egos of three especially Rude Rams\\ after the ass chewing they took from Gen L.D. Johnston. In reality, “LD” probably loved it, and I am sure he broke quite a few glasses in his day, but there was one thing he would not tolerate, messing with the ladies. As fate would have it, a short two months later I was assigned to the Rude Rams as their new weapons officer. Reference “The Crew Van” on 26 January. One thing the Rams did well was establishing quite a few team-building traditions; we had Mr. Vegas, Nickel Scrum, Van Club, and Hall Brawls. God help you if the Lieutenants singled you out, there was safety in numbers of your own kind. LtCol. Don “DB” Bolling was the commander of The Rams and he ran a crew of fighter pilots that lived life to the fullest. These were a bunch of guys ready to fight, and they did. You knew when the Rams rolled into town, and if it was Nellis, you could bet the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), a permanent affront to all fighter pilots, was going to be torn off the Nellis “Home of the Fighter Pilot” sign. Just as sure as the sign disappearing Coach the bartender would ban any Ram from having an actual glass in the club. The Rams were probably one of the tightest and full throttle squadrons I have ever been in. It’s also where I picked up Gus and Dozier.
Body – Sports Day
Racquet ball, squash, basket ball, handball, horseback riding
Weapons Instructor Course
Mixed Martial Arts, Wrestling, Boxing
Recipe of the Day
Chicken Fajitas – MackNBee rate it a 3 out of 4 on the fighter pilot grading scale, AJAX rates it a 3 for ease of preparation and taste.
Ingredients – Serves 4
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch strips
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 whole-wheat tortillas (8 inches each)
4 tablespoons salsa, divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
4 teaspoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)
Heat oven to 400°F. In a bowl, toss chicken with garlic, juice, 1 teaspoon oil, chili powder and cumin; marinate 20 minutes. Coat a rimmed sheet pan with cooking spray; add chicken with marinade, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes with chiles, salt, black pepper and remaining 1 tsp oil; toss to combine. Roast, stirring once, until chicken is cooked through, 20 minutes. Wrap tortillas in foil; heat in oven during last 10 minutes of roasting time. Stir 2 tablespoons salsa and 2 tablespoonscilantro into chicken mixture; divide evenly among tortillas, along with remaining 2 tablespoons salsa, yogurt and remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro. Garnish with radish slices and lime wedges, if desired.
Per serving: 553 calories, 29 g fat, 4 g saturated, 48 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 26 g protein
Spirit – Malachi 3:12 “All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts.
With all the squabbling going on in the States today it is easy to lose sight of how truly blessed this nation is.