Vance Air Force Base Airmen Wear 'My Little Pony' Patch
ENID, Oklahoma - A class of U.S. Air Force airmen learning how to fly at Vance Air Force Base near Enid is becoming an internet sensation, thanks to a patch.
Every class of pilots in training at Vance Air Force Base picks its own patch. Class 14-05 picked one that's based on the cartoon "My Little Pony, Friendship Is Magic". The patch reads "My Little Pilot, Flying Is Magic".
According to Air Force Times, My Little Pony has become popular with some members of the military, as well as other adults. These older fans are called "Bronies," short for "bro ponies."
Vance's Bronie patch was first publicized by the Bronie web site equestriadaily.com earlier this month. The rest is internet history.
A spokesman for Vance Air Force Base, 1st Lt. Thomas Barger, told the Air Force Times all class patches at Vance are unofficial and are worn only during pilot training.
Lt. Barger, who handles public affairs for the 71st Flying Training Wing based at Vance, says choosing the patch has paid off.
"During a slide show presentation while previewing the different patch options, the student presenter threw the ‘My Little Pilot' patch design into the mix as an ironic joke. That patch made it all the way through the approval process and is even more ironic since the class never really wanted it in the first place," said Lt. Barger.
"They thought it was so off the wall that it was hilarious. They have embraced the irony and humor of the patch and in so doing have fostered closer ties with each other."
Selection of the patch also fits the history of the U.S. military, which has a long history of adopting cartoon characters as mascots for squadrons and other units.
Lt. Barger tells News On 6 he's amazed by the reaction the patch has received on the internet. He says the pilots are too busy with their training to give the patch much more thought. But he definitely sees the humor in the situation.
"Our allied partners send their student pilots here to train because the United States Air Force is known for its air superiority around the globe, and now perhaps, in the land of Equestria... perhaps the Wonderbolts will start sporting a U.S. Air Force patch of their own," he said.