4. But the movie has plenty of historical rewrites
Maverick's maverickness is attributed to his always flying against the ghost of his father, a Vietnam-era pilot who, according to the official government account, died because he "screwed up." Later on, Viper (Tom Skerritt, who served in the Air Force in real life) reveals that Maverick's dad died a hero saving his squadron, but "that's not something the State Department tells dependents when the battle occurred over the wrong line on some map."
Now, that's some insufferable John Rambo bullshit on levels both macro (that line was either the border of Laos or Cambodia, a fragile country whose collapse following its hapless entanglement in Vietnam ushered in one of history's most brutal regimes, but hey, who cares about cartography) and micro (surely the State Department would've just said, "He died heroically... over Vietnam" instead of needlessly trashing his reputation, potentially pissing off the family enough to launch an inquiry; is "If we say he screwed up, they'll never suspect he was flying over Cambodia" even remotely logical?)