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Tom "Iceman" Kazansky was one of only a few United States naval aviators to be sent to TOPGUN. He had an extremely cocky personality and was known for his big ego, as was his RIO, LTJG Ron "Slider" Kerner. His signature bleached hair tips are closely associated with the fact that he is "the best pilot" in the new class of TOPGUN students. He was the main antagonist of Top Gun and the overarching protagonist of Top Gun: Maverick.

Biography[]

Top Gun[]

From LT Pete "Maverick" Mitchell's first day, it was clear that Iceman was going to be a difficult partner to fly with. Throughout the film, both pilots competed with each other for first place, desperately wanting their name on the plaque that recorded the names of the best pilot from each class.

Two weeks before graduation, Maverick and Iceman went in the air together on one of their last exercises at the school. As Maverick moved in for a shot, he was cut off by an overly-competitive Iceman, who then found himself too close to fire. Iceman pulled up and away forcing Maverick to fly through his jet wash. The dirty air stalled Maverick's jet engines and sent him into a flat spin. Maverick was able to eject safely, however his RIO, LTJG Nick "Goose" Bradshaw, was killed.

Iceman eventually graduated at the top of his class after Maverick nearly dropped out. The two once again went into the air on their first official mission together and Maverick saved Iceman from several enemy MiG-28s, allowing Iceman to grant Maverick his respect. At the end of the Top Gun his last and famous line "You can be my wingman anytime," was delivered.

Top Gun: Maverick[]

Iceman returns thirty years after his exploits in Top Gun in Top Gun: Maverick. Over the years, he has risen through the ranks of the U.S. Navy eventually achieving the rank of admiral, and becoming the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. During that time, he also married a woman named Sarah, and the two had a son and a daughter together.

It is revealed that Iceman and Maverick maintained their friendship; with Iceman using his authority to prevent Maverick from being separated from the Navy every time he got into trouble with the other admirals. Coincidentally, Maverick's latest incident of destroying the Darkstar prototype occurs around the time the Navy develops a secret mission that's in need of a teacher. Iceman requests Maverick to teach a group of TOPGUN school graduates, believing he's the only one to get them ready for the dangerous mission. This however, is also the end of the line of Iceman's favors and the end of Maverick's career; the Navy has determined that this will be Maverick's last duty station: either agree and stay in a little longer to teach or refuse and be out of the Navy effective immediately.

As Maverick faces difficulty in facing his past while teaching LT Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, Iceman requests a visit. It's then revealed that Iceman is dying from an unnamed type of cancer that has returned; this time making it painful to even speak. He and Maverick meet for the last time, with the former encouraging the latter to not lose hope with Rooster and to believe in his own teaching capabilities. The two bid farewell after amicably 'arguing' one last time over which of them is the best pilot.

Iceman dies a few days later: Maverick along with other special mission personnel attend his funeral, where Iceman is honored with a missing man formation and Maverick tacks his wings into the casket.

Iceman's decision ultimately turns out to be right, as Maverick and Rooster do eventually manage to complete the mission and reconcile.

Ribbons[]

Top Gun[]

In order of precedence:

Presidential Unit Citation Meritorious Unit Commendation Navy "E" Ribbon - One 3⁄16 inch silver letter "E" device denotes first award.
Navy Expeditionary Medal Humanitarian Service Medal Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

Top Gun: Maverick[]

In order of precedence:

Defense Distinguished Service Medal Distinguished Flying Cross
Either a Bronze Star Medal or Defense Meritorious Service Medal Meritorious Service Medal - One 5⁄16 inch silver star device denotes sixth award. Meritorious Service Medal - This is an error / duplicate medal.
Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal - Two 5⁄16 inch star devices (colors unknown / hard to distinguish) denote amount of awards. Joint Service Achievement Medal Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal - One 5⁄16 inch gold star device denotes second award.
Combat Action Ribbon - One 5⁄16 inch gold star device denotes awards in two separate theaters of war. Presidential Unit Citation Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Navy Unit Commendation Sea Service Deployment Ribbon - This is an error in order of precedence as well as a duplicate medal. National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal - Two 3⁄16 inch bronze star devices denote third award. Afghanistan Campaign Medal Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Sea Service Deployment Ribbon - One 5⁄16 inch silver star device denotes sixth award.
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) United Nations Medal

Notes[]

  • In Top Gun: Maverick, Iceman is the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet. At the time of the film's release, the real-life Commander of the Pacific Fleet was Admiral Samuel John Paparo Jr.. Similar to Iceman, Admiral Paparo is a United States naval aviator who has graduated from Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). He is an experienced pilot with 6,000 flying hours including flying the Grumman F-14 Tomcat (the same aircraft Iceman flew).
  • While still active duty, due to Iceman's deteriorating health condition it forced him to presumably switch from working in the office to working mostly from home. A Four-Star Admiral flag can be seen rising at Iceman's house during the scene when Maverick visits him.
  • According to his medal record, he had participated in the Liberation of Kuwait during the Gulf War and the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars during the Global War on Terrorism.
  • In his portrait as an 4-star admiral, there are several errors in the order of precedence for his medal ribbons.[2]
  1. The Meritorious Service Medal is used twice. For two of the same ribbon to be displayed side-by-side, it would need to be his fifteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, twenty-third, twenty-fourth, or twenty-fifth award. Based on one 5⁄16 inch star device (silver), it's only his sixth award. A seventh award is denoted as a single ribbon with one 5⁄16 inch star device (silver) and one 5⁄16 inch star device (gold); not one ribbon with one 5⁄16 inch star device (silver) to denote sixth award and an extra blank ribbon to denote seventh award.
  2. The Sea Service Deployment Ribbon is used twice. It is seen erroneously in the middle of the fourth row down, and again appropriately on the right side of the second row from the bottom.
  3. On the very bottom row from left to right is: Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), and United Nations Medal. The United Nations Medal should be wore before the other two; meaning it should be in the bottom left corner, not the bottom right corner.
  4. The Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy "E" Ribbon, Navy Expeditionary Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal present in Top Gun are absent in Top Gun: Maverick.

Gallery[]

Top Gun[]

Top Gun: Maverick[]

References[]

  1. The character's age is conjecture based on actor Val Kilmer, who was born on December 31st, 1959; Val was currently 26-years-old at the time of the film's full release on May 16th, 1986.
  2. https://www.warhistoryonline.com/news/top-gun-maverick-uniform-mistakes.html
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