US Navy Fines Fighter Pilots If They Quote Top Gun While Training

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 18 Sep 2020 12:35
Paramount Pictures/PA

Sorry, Goose, but if you planned on joining the US Navy as an excuse to say Top Gun quotes to everyone, I’ve got bad news for you.

I’d inform you of the bad news, but if I told you, I’d have to kill you – but I’ll tell you anyway.


Apparently if you have the need for speed and are part of the US Navy’s tactical air combat training centre (aka TOPGUN) and you have the need to say one of Tom Cruise’s quotes, you’ll be fined $5 if you’re caught.

The fines aren’t being dished out because the quotes are corny as hell or because everyone is tired of hearing them; it’s apparently because its seen as unprofessional.

Paramount Pictures

Former fighter pilot and TOPGUN instructor Cmdr. Guy ‘Bus’ Snodgrass reveals all this in his new book TOPGUN’s Top 10: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit.


While Snodgrass admits that the 1986 movie is ‘ingrained’ in fighter pilot culture, the quotes don’t go down well at the training centre.

He explained:

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, you don’t turn TOPGUN into a joke by referencing the movie.

[…] It is a part of our bylaws that if someone overtly references the movie — it could be a direct quote, it could be something that is really close to a direct quote — that’s an automatic $5 fine. And it’s enforced. And you are expected to pay right then. You pull out your wallet and pay the $5.


Speaking to Insider about the unusual bylaw, he said that most people end up being fined for it ‘at some point’. He wouldn’t tell them his favourite quote though – it must be classified…

He also admitted that Top Gun actually played a part in igniting his love for aviation, and I’m sure he’s not the only pilot to have been inspired by it.

He told the online publication:

I think that’s where my real true initial love for naval aviation started. I loved the flying scenes. It was exciting. I felt myself going, ‘Man, if I could ever do that, it would be a dream come true.’

The Top Gun movie had such an impact on most of our lives.


Top Gun: Maverick is set to drop next year.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Film and TV, Life, Now, Tom Cruise


Business Insider
  1. Business Insider

    Former US Navy fighter pilot explains why TOPGUN fines aviators $5 each time they quote the iconic 1986 film 'Top Gun' starring Tom Cruise