Culture

Air Force Hijacks ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ To Recruit Future Fighter Pilots

May 13, 2022Mac Caltrider
Air Force

We’re just weeks away from the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick, and the Air Force is hoping to cash in on the buzz. US Air Force image by Airman 1st Class Hayden Legg. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.

Fans are screaming for Top Gun: Maverick to hit theaters in a couple of weeks after years of delays. The long-awaited sequel stars Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, and Jennifer Connelly, and will also see Val Kilmer return as Iceman, although it’s unclear how large a role his character will play. The upcoming action movie promises to be chock-full of breathtaking aerial combat sequences and will likely boast the most screen time modern aircraft have ever had. The movie centers around naval aviators, but the Air Force plans to cash in on the movie’s buzz. 


The Air Force released a new recruiting commercial titled “Own the Sky” that will air in theaters before the start of Top Gun: Maverick. The epic recruiting effort features a fleet of aircraft, including F-35s — most likely from Alaska’s Eielson Air Force Base — practicing dogfights, the infantry’s beloved A-10, and America’s fifth-generation F-22s. The secretive B-2 stealth bomber also gets a rare moment in the spotlight, before the dreaded AC-130J gunship — dubbed “Ghostrider” — soars into view. 



The one-minute montage also features single-tail, single-engine F-16s, known among pilots as Vipers, flaunting their afterburners. The V-22 Osprey, flown exclusively by the branch’s Special Operations Command, also makes a cameo. Some of the pilots can be seen sporting patches for Air Combat Command, which controls all of the Air Force’s fighter aircraft. 


“When you look up, what you see is our domain. From fifth-generation fighters and attack aircraft to long-range stealth bombers, the U.S. Air Force is the most advanced, most powerful air force in the world,” the Air Force writes in the YouTube description of the commercial. “But air superiority wouldn’t be possible without the highly trained pilots and aircrews responsible for flying them. When it comes to the sky, we don’t just dominate, we own it.”


With the help of a specially equipped aircraft from Hollywood, the visually stunning commercial was shot primarily at Edwards Air Force Base, where the Air Force’s own legendary flying movie, The Right Stuff, was originally set



“The Navy, the Air Force and the other services benefit when America gets to see such positive and realistic depictions of what we do and what our lives are like serving the country,” Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, the Air Force recruiting commander, said in a press release. “Whether viewers want to ‘Fly Navy’ or ‘Aim High’ we just want them to think about serving and the exciting life and tremendous opportunities we can offer.”


Of the aircraft seen owning the skies throughout the commercial, the F-35 takes center stage. The modern fighter jet is used by both the Navy and the Air Force, likely aiding the Air Force’s recruiting effort before a film that exclusively features Navy pilots and aircraft. Just as the 1990s action flick Navy SEALs helped bring in a new generation of Navy frogmen, the Air Force aims to rise above what Thomas called “the toughest recruiting market in well more than two decades” with the well-placed commercial and welcome the next generation of pilots willing to suit up, according to the press release. 


Read Next: When Val Kilmer Claimed To Understand War Better Than Veterans



Mac Caltrider
Mac Caltrider

Mac Caltrider is a senior staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine. He served in the US Marine Corps and is a former police officer. Caltrider earned his bachelor’s degree in history and now reads anything he can get his hands on. He is also the creator of Pipes & Pages, a site intended to increase readership among enlisted troops. Caltrider spends most of his time reading, writing, and waging a one-man war against premature hair loss.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Military
Navy Releases First Photos of Chinese Balloon Recovery

In the newest images released by the Navy on Tuesday, sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks at the Pentagon in Washington, Nov. 16, 2022. Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who oppose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement on religious grounds want a federal appeals court to keep alive their legal fight against the Biden administration. Congress voted to end the requirement in December 2022, but vaccine opponents note that commanders can still make decisions on how and whether to deploy unvaccinated troops, under a memo signed last month by Austin. AP photo by Susan Walsh, File.
Military
Vaccine Litigation Lingers After Lifting of Military Mandate

Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who refuse to be vaccinated for religious...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Armed Forces Service Medal
Military
Who Earns the Armed Forces Service Medal?

The Department of Defense honors heroism in combat in many ways, but there is also an award — the Ar...

February 7, 2023Noelle Wiehe
Soldiers carry the coffin of Eduard Strauss, a Ukrainian serviceman who died in combat on Jan. 17 in Bakhmut, during a farewell ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. AP photo by Daniel Cole.
Intel
Russian Forces Keep Up Pressue As Ukraine Anniversary Nears

Russian forces are keeping Ukrainian troops tied down with attacks in the eastern Donbas region as M...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Chinese spy balloon
Military
Blown to Bits! Chinese Spy Balloon Blasted, Plummets Into Sea

The US Air Force downed the Chinese balloon that's been soaring over the US.

February 4, 2023Carl Prine
germany, european union, ukraine gas reserves
Intel
Ukraine Wants To Store Europe’s Strategic Gas Reserves

Ukraine maintains 12 underground gas storage facilities with a total capacity of about 31 billion cu...

February 3, 2023Nolan Peterson
Dear John letter
History
‘Dear John Letters’ — A History of Wartime Breakups

The dreaded Dear John: the wartime breakup notice that took weeks to arrive in the mail.

February 3, 2023Matt Fratus
National Defense Service Medal
Military
A Brief History of the National Defense Service Medal

First issued at the end of the Korean War, the National Defense Service Medal has been awarded durin...

February 2, 2023Jenna Biter
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved