The U.S. Air Force Academy announced Tuesday that a one-month-old female gyrfalcon is waiting in the wings to be the school’s next official mascot.
The falcon, which appears to have done nothing but leg day while residing in the egg, will now be the subject of a vote launched by the Academy to determine her name.
An in-house Observation Post suggestion of “Absolute Unit” appears to have gained little to no traction, but persistence is paramount.
Nameless is replacing Aurora, the Academy’s oldest and longest serving falcon mascot, who died last October at the age of 23. The academy has several falcon mascots.
Aurora, a rare white phase gyrfalcon, had been described by the academy as a “feisty, spirited bird who commanded respect.”
She was the subject of controversy in 2018 when, after being taken by West Point cadets during a weekend game against Army, she was returned with noticeable physical damage. Despite West Point’s gauche misfalconry, Aurora managed to exceed the average life expectancy of certain falcons by nearly a decade.
Deciding the name of the newest falcon iteration will be left to the Cadet Wing to vote on suggestions supplied via the Twitter hashtag #youracademy.
Suggestions so far have included names like Wild Blue, Soar, Athena, and Inspiration. One Twitter user, @colorado_mel, provided far and away the greatest name in proposing bestowing the falcon with the name “Feather Locklear.”
We were preparing to offer a list of name possibilities that would include monikers such as Captain Falcon, in honor of the classic Nintendo character, or Giovanna, an homage to Giovanni Falcone, the Italian judge who railed against the Sicilian Mafia, but Melissa’s is so immensely superior and therefore deserving of the snappiest of salutes.
If you’re still compelled to submit a creative name to rival Ms. Locklear, do so using the aforementioned hashtag. Suggestions will be voted on by the cadet wing later this year.
But aim high, because that’s where the bar has been set.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.