Ah yes... nonners1. If we follow the inverted pyramid writing style, you're going to want to know what that word means, right up front. Okay, here goes.

The word nonner, according to United States Air Force legend, was derived from a much longer phrase:


So, non sortie generating motherfucker. A sortie is a mission. If an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet takes off, drops bombs on Baghdad, then lands, then that's one single sortie. It doesn't have to be combat oriented, either. Any aircraft, leaving the ground to do anything, and then returning, is a sortie, at least in USAF terminology.

So, with that bit of knowledge, we can put it together. A nonner is an Air Force member who does not generate sorties. Someone who, day in and day out, is not directly involved in putting aircraft into the sky.

Examples? Of course I have examples. The guy working at the gym handing out basketballs is a nonner. The woman at the clinic who gives you a smallpox vaccination is a nonner. The cop who checks your ID at the gate is a nonner.

Anyone who flies, maintains, or directly facilitates the flying or maintaining of aircraft is not a nonner. There are gray areas. The people in the support section who hand out tools to the maintainers are not nonners. The people at the PMEL labs who calibrate torque wrenches are definitely nonners.

There are those among us, in the new, politically correct Air Force, who would have you believe that we are all equally important in the putting of bombs on target. Anyone who believes that is a nonner.

1Non-er is the alternate, hyphen-happy spelling.

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