Robin Olds

Robin Olds

in Honolulu, Hawaii , The United States
July 14, 1922

June 14, 2007

ROBIN OLDS "was an American fighter pilot and general officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was a 'triple ace', with a combined total of 16 victories in World War II and the Vietnam War. He retired in 1973 as a brigadier general.

"The son of regular Army Capt. Robert Olds [who had served as a flight instructor in France during the First World War and later became an advocate of strategic bombing in U.S. Army aviation circles], educated at West Point, and the product of an upbringing in the early years of the U.S. Army Air Corps, Olds epitomized the youthful World War II fighter pilot. He remained in the service as it became the United States Air Force, despite often being at odds with its leadership, and was one of its pioneer jet pilots. Rising

Average rating: 4.34 · 1,680 ratings · 145 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
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The German Aces Speak: Worl...

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“Here's what I learned over the years. Know the mission, what is expected of you and your people. Get to know those people, their attitudes and expectations. Visit all the shops and sections. Ask questions. Don't be shy. Learn what each does, how the parts fit into the whole. Find out what supplies and equipment are lacking, what the workers need. To whom does each shop chief report? Does that officer really know the people under him, is he aware of their needs, their training? Does that NCO supervise or just make out reports without checking facts? Remember, those reports eventually come to you. Don't try to bullshit the troops, but make sure they know the buck stops with you, that you'll shoulder the blame when things go wrong. Correct without revenge or anger. Recognize accomplishment. Reward accordingly. Foster spirit through self-pride, not slogans, and never at the expense of another unit. It won't take long, but only your genuine interest and concern, plus follow-up on your promises, will earn you respect. Out of that you gain loyalty and obedience. Your outfit will be a standout. But for God's sake, don't ever try to be popular! That weakens your position, makes you vulnerable. Don't have favorites. That breeds resentment. Respect the talents of your people. Have the courage to delegate responsibility and give the authority to go with it. Again, make clear to your troops you are the one who'll take the heat.”
Robin Olds

“The guy you don't see will kill you.”
Robin Olds

“Fighter pilot is an attitude. It is cockiness. It is aggressiveness. It is self-confidence. It is a streak of rebelliousness, and it is competitiveness. But there's something else - there's a spark. There's a desire to be good. To do well; in the eyes of your peers, and in your own mind.”
Robin Olds, Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds

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