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Commander Tom "Stinger" Jardian is the Commander of the Air Group (CAG) of the USS Enterprise, a United States nuclear aircraft carrier. He is LT Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, LTJG Nick "Goose" Bradshaw and LT Bill "Cougar" Cortell's higher commanding officer.


Top Gun[]

At the opening of the film, he is in the radar room checking on the number of F-14s that take off from and land onto the deck of the ship. Stinger orders Maverick to land his plane as he is trying to save Cougar and then chews him and Goose out for the incident while talking about the number of times they got into trouble. Then he tells them that since Cougar turned his wings in and quit, they are going to TOPGUN.

Shortly after Maverick, LT Rick "Hollywood" Neven, LTJG Henry "Wolfman" Ruth, LT Tom "Iceman" Kazansky and LTJG Ron "Slider" Kerner graduate from TOPGUN, he briefs them on the mission which involves a stalled ship, the SS Layton. He is in the radar room as Hollywood and Wolfman are shot down and orders a rescue helicopter to find them and then launches Maverick and LTJG Sam "Merlin" Wells to help Iceman and Slider out.

After the incident he congratulates Maverick and tells him that he has his choices of duties. He jokingly expresses horror after Maverick chooses to return to TOPGUN as an instructor.


  • Nowhere in the movie is Jardian specifically stated as the CAG; it is only implied. In modern US Navy Carrier Strike Groups, CAGs are ranked at Captain (OF-5, USN O-6), one rank above Commander.



  1. The character's age is conjecture based on actor James Tolkan, who was born on June 20th, 1931; James was currently 54-years-old at the time of the film's full release on May 16th, 1986.