There were many who said the aircraft was unstable, underpowered, had bad visibility and its engines flamed out when it rained.

For the F7U Cutlass, one of the Navy’s first jet-powered aircraft, rumors and mistruths started by those who never flew the aircraft unfortunately became its reality, and created a less-than-stellar reputation that followed the fighter-bomber during its short stint in the fleet.

In addition to reputations for aircraft performance, aviation design firms had penchants for either innovation or adhering to convention. Grumman Aircraft was known for its workman-like designs which grew more sophisticated, but at a conservative pace. There was an undeniable steppingstone progression in their fighter designs from the biplane FF-1 of 1931 up to their last piston fighter, the F8F Bearcat of 1943.

For sailors who have never served on an aircraft carrier or a large-deck amphibious ship, they might be surprised to learn that these Navy flattops have Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents on board. NCIS is the Navy’s civilian law enforcement agency responsible for investigating crime, preventing terrorism and protecting sensitive Navy and Marine Corps information. Their agents deploy with carrier and amphibious strike groups when they head overseas.

More than a half million student cadets are currently enrolled in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs in high schools throughout the country. These future military leaders tackle a variety of classes ranging from military science and leadership to critical thinking and life skills.