Hello, I'm a USAF Flight engineer, I also hold a FAA PFE and A&P. The level of grease worn by FE's basicly depends on the ACFT manufacturer and operator. The varios quals create a great deal of good natured ribbing, ranging from "Gucci Boys", "SMOE Picker" and "Side Sitting Switch B****"; to "Wrench Spinner", "Grease Gunner" and "Tire Kicker". I agree with Oldman, through a twisted history involving technology, money and unions, FE's have had to stick together to survive. As of late with the newer airframes out there we have been relegated to one of two choices; Don't change and and become extict with the aircraft we love, or follow the path of SO, FO, and finally Captain. The days of an all-purpose aviator, mechanic and mathmatician are drawing to a close, but the love of the job is still there!
PS- Did you know the Space Shuttle has a Flight Engineer Position? Talk about the ultimate outline station!
"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"