You Might be a Nonner if...

Nonner duty identifier patch

Introduction to USAF Nonners

So, the official USAF position regarding nonners appears at the end of the blog. Okay, it’s not “official” official, but ask anyone in PA, leadership, or Chief Bass, and it’s pretty much what they would say. But we maintainers know better because decades ago we invented the term so that means we get to say what it means.

(The "NONR" duty identifier morale patch is great isn't it? It's one of our top selling items.)

No, we don’t hate nonners. It’s a very strong word that would normally get something banned from a social media post. But we all know the emotion we feel when Finance is constantly closed for training and their jobs could be replaced by a good computer program.  Some nonners are okay, others are typical government bureaucrats. In any case, all maintainers already know all of this. So, we thought it would be good to give nonners a way to know if they are nonners.

 Nonner McGregor morale patch

Nonner McGregor Morale Patch

You Might Be a Nonner If...

  • Your AFSC starts with anything other than 2A, (Sorry Weapons and Ammo).
  • You can go more than a day on one uniform.
  • Your uniform has no stains.
  • The soles of your boots wear rather than stains requiring their replacement.
  • Fading is equal on your camo uniform top and bottom.
  • Workweeks are 40 hours and day shift.
  • Lunch happens every day at the same time and for the same duration.
  • The group you work in can regularly halt your regular tasks to do training or teambuilding events.
  • 90% of your work gets done in an air conditioned office.
  • If it’s raining or snowing, you can just stay indoors until work is over.
  • The biggest hazard in your workplace is hitting your knee on an open filing cabinet.
  • When things get behind in the office on a Friday, they just lock the door on Monday and don’t answer the phones to get caught back up.
  • You can leave work to run to the BX or gym.
  • Off-base restaurants are your norm for lunch.
  • The only time you wash your hands is after using the restroom.
  • You and your uniform smell nice all day long.
  • You don’t have a dark sense of humor.
  • You don’t enjoy making outsiders feel uncomfortable.
  • Nickname? You don’t have one, or if you do it’s not derogatory.
  • Pranks are completely frowned upon in your workplace.
  • Everyone in your office treats everyone else with respect and is sensitive to the feelings and opinions of others.
  • You sweat more at the gym than at work.
  • Morale is high in your office.
  • Leadership considers you to be their top priority.
  • You are at the end of your first enlistment and have no health issues and are in top physical form.
  • Awards and decorations are given out frequently, even though you were just doing your regular job.
  • You deploy overseas to an air conditioned office where you do the exact same job you could have done from your home base.
  • You don’t ever have to undo the day’s work you just finished.
  • Prepping for a distinguished visitor just means vacuuming and dusting the office.
  • Your work environment and equipment aren’t actively trying to unalive you every moment of your workday.
  • You have no idea what a restricted area badge or reflective belt are.
  • The biggest stressor in your day is if you will be able to make it to your car before Retreat sounds.
  • Nobody ever double-checks your work, and if someone does it’s not reported up the chain of command if you made a mistake.
  • You have an active social life and get plenty of time with your significant other.
  • Your kids recognize you.
  • Nicotine, alcohol, and energy drinks are not a significant part of your life.
  • A prostate exam is the worst thing the military ever did to you.
  • Nobody ever farted on purpose in a vehicle you were in. (Microsoft Word just flagged “farted” as possibly offensive to readers.
  • You might be a nonner if the word “farted” offends you.
  • The language in your workplace is always considerate and professional.
  • Your locker is not filled with miscellaneous aircraft parts and hardware.
  • Your friends or spouse enjoy watching aviation movies like “Top Gun” with you.
  • The closest you ever get to a running aircraft is from the spectator area during the base airshow.
  • Jets scare you.
  • If your idea of an Operational Readiness Inspection involves a field of cubicles, you might be a nonner.
  • If your idea of combat involves battling Excel spreadsheets, you might be a nonner.
  • You think nothing important is going on at the base after you leave for the day.
  • You tell people to go clean up or change their uniform before you can help them.
  • Finally - If being called a nonner is offensive to you, then you are probably a nonner.

Please feel free to add your own in the comments section. We know that there are tons more.

And here’s a great thing. You can get a nonner duty identifier morale patch that says “NONR”! It’s a perfect gift to get for that favorite nonner in your life. You can always just stealthily drop it on their desk or via some other anonymous means. Or get one for yourself if you just happen to be a nonner. There’s no shame in being a nonner – own it! And some maintainers have been known to cross-train to nonner AFSC’s. We get it and completely understand.

 Combat nonner

 Combat Nonner

Shop for more morale patches and military gifts at these pages:

Challenge Coin Nation Home

Challenge Coin Nation Morale Patches

Challenge Coin Nation Custom Morale Patches

Challenge Coin Nation Stock Morale Patches

Challenge Coin Nation Officially Retired Morale Patch


Introduction to the “Official” Air Force View of Nonners

In the dynamic and multifaceted world of the United States Air Force (USAF), a distinctive term has emerged to categorize a particular group of personnel - "nonners." Derived from the term "non-sortie generating um personnel” or “Non maintainers’ or “non-flightline personnel”, "nonners” is a slang term referring to individuals within the USAF who are not directly involved in aircraft maintenance. While these roles are vital for the overall functioning of the Air Force, they often come with their own set of stereotypes, perceptions, and jokes. This article delves into the world of nonners in the USAF, shedding light on their roles, contributions, and the unique culture that surrounds them.

Defining Nonners

A "nonner" is a term used informally within the USAF to describe personnel who are primarily engaged in administrative or support roles rather than directly participating in sortie generation of aircraft. This broad category encompasses a wide range of occupations, including but not limited to administrative specialists, medical personnel, finance, logistics experts, and many more. Nonners play a crucial role in maintaining the operational readiness of the Air Force, ensuring that the complex machinery of the military runs smoothly.

The Variety of Nonner Roles

The USAF is a complex organization that requires a diverse range of skills and expertise to function effectively. Nonners fill a plethora of vital roles that are indispensable for the Air Force's overall mission success. Some of the most prominent nonner roles include:

Administrative Specialists: These individuals handle paperwork, personnel records, and various administrative tasks critical for the day-to-day functioning of Air Force units.

Medical Personnel: This includes doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who provide crucial medical services to Air Force personnel, ensuring their health and readiness.

Finance Group: Responsible for managing budgets, payroll, and financial operations, finance officers play a critical role in allocating resources effectively.

Logistics Experts: They oversee the movement of personnel, equipment, and supplies, ensuring they reach their intended destinations in a timely and efficient manner.

Information Technology Specialists: These personnel manage and maintain the Air Force's extensive network of computer systems, ensuring smooth communication and operation.

Legal Professionals: Lawyers and paralegals within the Air Force handle a wide range of legal matters, from military justice to contract law.

Contributions of Nonners

Nonners may not be on the front lines of combat, but their contributions are no less vital to the success of the USAF's mission. Here are some of the main ways that nonners contribute:

Operational Support: Nonners provide the essential support services that allow operational units to function effectively. From managing schedules to processing paperwork, their efforts enable combat personnel to focus on their primary mission.

Maintaining Readiness: Medical personnel ensure that Air Force personnel are fit and healthy, while logistics experts ensure that equipment and supplies are readily available when needed.

Efficient Resource Management: Finance officers play a crucial role in managing budgets and allocating resources, ensuring that funds are used efficiently to support the Air Force's mission.

Legal Guidance: Legal professionals provide essential advice and support, ensuring that the Air Force operates within legal bounds and that the rights of service members are protected.

Technological Infrastructure: Information technology specialists maintain the technological backbone of the Air Force, enabling communication, data management, and other critical functions.

The Culture of Nonners

The term "nonner" is not without its share of humor and stereotypes within the USAF culture. While these labels are often used in jest, they also serve to create a sense of camaraderie among nonners. This unique culture is characterized by a shared understanding of the essential role nonners play in the broader Air Force mission.

Nonners often take pride in their specialized expertise and the critical support they provide. They recognize that without their contributions, the operational side of the Air Force would be severely hampered. This pride can be seen in the way nonners identify with their roles and the sense of purpose they derive from their work.


In the vast and intricate ecosystem of the United States Air Force, nonners form an integral part of the overall operation. While they may not be found in the cockpit or on the front lines, their contributions are no less crucial to the success of the Air Force's mission. From administrative specialists to medical personnel, nonners bring a diverse array of skills and expertise to the table. The term "nonner" may carry a hint of humor, but it also represents a unique culture and a shared sense of purpose among these dedicated individuals. Through their unwavering support and commitment, nonners continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring the Air Force's readiness and effectiveness in the face of any challenge.

In military slang, a "nonner" typically refers to someone who serves in a non-combat or non-operational role within the military. This term is often used, sometimes affectionately and sometimes with a hint of teasing, by personnel in combat or operational positions to refer to those who work in administrative, support, or non-deployable roles.

For example, individuals in jobs related to administration, finance, logistics, medical support, and similar roles might be referred to as "nonners" by those in combat roles.

It's important to note that the term "nonner" is informal and can vary in usage and meaning depending on the specific military branch and culture. Additionally, it's crucial to treat such slang with respect and not to use it in a derogatory or demeaning manner.

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