Fly Navy! ...or USMC
I'm going to raise the bullshit flag. You can't walk around with a chip on your shoulder or with an inferiority complex. You haven't even been there yet so how could you know? I'll tell you what will happen...when you man up an aircraft, you are just another aviator and part of the team. Other members of the team will rely on you. Part of the Ready Room "rock tumbler" is to try you on for size outside the aircraft, but it's all business inside. Your life and that of others depends on it. This is not an elevator speech. You WILL be judged or rather held in esteem for your airborne proficiency, period. IF you're good, it doesn't matter what your ethnicity might be. Believe me, starting in Flight School, your rep will start building and although you'll compete with peers at every step, you'll garner a reputation for having "good hands" or being calm under pressure, etc. Since others will be counting on you when the chips are down, they'll always be reassessing your performance. Skippers have to know who they can count on for the tough missions or crappy ass weather, etc. Nobody is going to care how you got your wings, they'll know you earned them and you'll keep earning them. If you suck, someone wonder how you got to where you are at that point. So stop wasting your time worrying about and concentrate on not sucking (as a friend of mine likes to say). Now, go buy this book and take two things away from it;It angers me but it is true..... If I'm able to get my wings I will constantly be looked at as "oohh I know how he got here he's black....."
1. If he can make it with head held high in the pervading bigotry and segregated days of late 40s and early 50s, so can you.
2. Jesse was a section leader when he was shot down. Do you think his wingman or other members of his thought affirmative action got him there. He made it on sheer determination and talent and earned his section leader qualification based on his airmanship. When he was shot down, his wingman risked his life to try and save him. Jesse died freezing to death, trapped in a cockpit of a mangled Corsair behind enemy lines with his bestfriend and wingman trying to extricate him. He didn't expect anything for this selfless act and thought he'd be courtmartialed for depositing a perfectly good Corsair behind enemy lines. He was awarded the Medal of Honor instead, but he'd trade it in a heartbeat to have Jesse back. So you think he ever thought Jesse got there by the color of his skin?
BTW - By happenstance, I served in Jesse's squadron 40 years after he was shot down. His squadronmates from the Korean War return to NAS Oceana just about every year and visit the current day Swordsmen if they are in town. I got to meet them several times and hear them tell their stories. So, I didn't learn about how Jesse was regarded from any book, I heard from the lips of those who served with him. To a man they all respected Jesse's skill as an aviator and nobody wondered how he got there. As they said, he wasn't merely good, he was a natural and translated his skill as an athlete into the cockpit making section lead while still an Ensign with a Naval Academy Grad LTJG flying as his wingman...looking up to him to learn, not wondering how he got there.