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.
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.
Iceman return 30 years after his exploits in Top Gun in Top Gun: Maverick. Over the years, he has risen through the ranks eventually achieving the rank of Admiral, becoming the commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet. He and Maverick maintained their friendship, with Iceman using his authority to prevent Maverick from being discharged every time he got into trouble with the other admirals. He also married a woman named Sarah and the two had a son and a daughter. He requests Maverick to teach a group of TOPGUN school graduates, believing he's the only one to get them ready for a dangerous mission. It's revealed that he's dying from cancer that it's making him painful even to just talk. He and Maverick meet for the last time, with the former encouraging the latter to believe in do not loose hope with LT Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw and believe in his own teaching capabilities. The two bid farewell after amicably arguing one last time over which of them is the best pilot. He dies a few days later: Maverick and the other air flight crew attend his funeral, where he is honored with a missing man formation and Maverick tacks his wings into the casket. His decision ultimately turns out to be right, as Maverick and Rooster do eventually manage to complete the mission and reconcile.
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|
In order of precedence:
- 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.
- In his portrait as an 4-star admiral, there are several errors in the order of precedence for his medal ribbons.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy "E" Ribbon, Navy Expeditionary Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal present in Top Gun are absent in Top Gun: Maverick.