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National Wingman Day – February 13, 2023

National Wingman Day is celebrated on February 13 every year. It is specifically held on the day before Valentine’s Day to celebrate the supportive friends, sidekicks, and true heroes who have our backs in difficult circumstances. We should all have a wingman. A friend who supports, encourages, and gives advice when we need it. This special day aims to show appreciation to the person who is on our left and lends us a hand whenever we need help. It is also about strengthening morale by devoting time to building relationships between co-workers.

History of National Wingman Day

In case you are wondering where the term ‘wingman comes from, it’s from the U.S. Air Force flying community. The word stems from a time-honored tradition that says a wingman will always watch the lead pilot´s back, stay with and protect him or her. The term originated in combat aviation. When pilots are flying in formation, especially in training for combat or in actual aerial combat, the person next to the pilot is referred to as the wingman. The pilot is traditionally on their right but they are sometimes on either side.

The wingman is the man on the pilot’s wing. Pilots are often trained to attack and defend in pairs watching out for each other in aerial combat. This Culture of Airmen includes integrity, service before self, and excellence in all they do. They accomplish their mission as a dedicated team. To succeed, airmen engage with other airmen in a way that fosters communication and connection. Practicing to be a good wingman needs to happen daily.

The idea behind National Wingman Day is that every day should be a Wingman Day. In everyday life, a wingman is part of a pair of friends socializing together, approaching other pairs and groups while avoiding the awkwardness of acting alone. The wingman strikes up a conversation and proposes group social activities, providing their friend with a pleasant and unthreatening social pretext to chat or flirt with a particularly attractive person. The wingman can also keep their friends safe by preventing them from drinking excessively or behaving in a reckless or socially embarrassing way.

National Wingman Day timeline

1986
The Term “Wingman” is Popularized

This term is popularized in the romantic military action drama film “Top Gun”, in which U.S. Navy pilots are shown in a bar pursuing women in pairs, similar to their in-flight tactics.

1960
The Film “The Apartment”

Another wingman is portrayed by Bud Baxter, who loans his New York apartment to four of his bosses as a place for their extramarital affairs.

1966
The Film ”Swingers”

In this film, the main character, Trent, tries to help his heartbroken friend Mike get back into the dating game.

2016
National Wingman Day is Created

The Wingman Day concept was established in October 2004 by the chief of staff of the Air Force, Gen. John P. Jumper.

National Wingman Day FAQs

What does a wingman do?

In the Airforce the wingman protects the pilot, in civilian life a wingman protects his buddy from awkward and potentially embarrassing situations.

Are there wingwomen too?

Yes, your female buddies can be your wingwomen just as men have wingmen to help out.

Why is it celebrated on 13 February?

Because it is one day before Valentine’s Day – the day of the year many wingmen spring into action.

National Wingman Day Activities

  1. Share your wingman story

    This day is about honoring our friends and right hands. So, if you have a story in which your BFF lent you a hand when you needed it, share it on your social media.

  2. Say thank you to your wingman

    Be creative about expressing your appreciation for their role in your life. Give them a special treat to thank them for their loyalty and support.

  3. Show support to your wingman

    Switch roles and step up to support your buddy in difficult circumstances. A good relationship is about being there for each other always.

5 Facts About Wingmen

  1. The Day aims to boost morale

    The day is aimed at strengthening morale in the units of the Air Force.

  2. The teaching on Wingman Day

    On this day it is again instilled in airmen that they should take care of one another.

  3. Wingmen are not only people

    Your dog can also be your wingman. Many people are attracted to dogs and will start a conversation with dog owners.

  4. “Wingman” was coined in the Air Force

    The word “wingman” is jargon used in the Airforce to describe the person looking out for the pilot in a plane.

  5. Wingmen are protectors

    According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the wingman is the pilot that flies behind or at the side of the squadron leader.

Why We Love National Wingman Day

  1. It is time to spoil loyal friends

    Showing appreciation for your wingman’s efforts throughout the year should be your main priority on this day. Go on and spoil them.

  2. Its time to hang out with a pal

    Seek out your wingman and schedule some time together. You can reminisce about past exploits and hang out in style or casually.

  3. You can help out a buddy

    Use the day to be a wingman to your buddy. Go out of your way to do something you know they will truly appreciate.

National Wingman Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 13Monday
2024February 13Tuesday
2025February 13Thursday
2026February 13Friday
2027February 13Saturday

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