We just happen to be writing this to you on Top Gun Day. The Navy’s elite pilot training program, officially named the “Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor” program, or SFTI (pronounced ‘siff-tee’), is not an actual school, but rather a graduate level, practical application course loaded with classroom and real-world training and tactics development. It was called Top Gun long before the movie came out in 1986, yet today, you’ll have to give your instructor or squadron mate a “fiver” if you ever refer to it as such.
During their 12 weeks at TOPGUN, pilots learn to “think outside the 9 dots”, operate on the edge of the envelope, “fly below the deck”, or to be a real Maverick, using alternative fighter maneuverability and countermeasure tactics, time management and preparation.
It is the ultimate dojo. It was the first Center of Excellence before the term even existed.
Above all else, its graduates learn how to take what they have mastered there and share i