Peter Mitchell grew up wanting to be a fighter pilot. Take after his father Duke Mitchell, who served with the VF-51 squadron aboard the USS Oriskany (CV-34) during the Vietnam War, and was killed in action when his Phantom was shot down.
Peter graduated high school in the top ten of the class, then promptly signed up for the US Navy.
He moved up the ranks, got into flight school, and can still remember the first moment he lifted off the deck of an Aircraft Carrier. He will be the first to tell you he was a cocky son of a bitch and arrogant on the fact he really was that good.
Though despite his attitude, he’s recommended for the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School, known as “Top Gun”, at NAS Miramar. He ends up going with his friend Goose, now his top crew.
It’s during training he meets Timothy Quinn, who is a civilian hired to train at Top Gun. Speed though impressed with Maverick’s skills, thinks hes a moron and calls him on it daily.
Near the end of the program, Maverick and Iceman both chase Jester. Under intense pressure from Maverick, Iceman breaks off. Maverick’s F-14 flies through the jet wash of Iceman’s aircraft and suffers a flameout of both engines, entering a flat spin from which he cannot recover, forcing both Maverick and Goose to eject. Goose ejects but his parachute fails to open.
Although the board of inquiry clears Maverick of responsibility, he feels guilty for Goose’s death, losing his aggressiveness when flying. Speed slaps him when Maverick considers leaving the Navy.
It was Speed who finally told him his responsibility was now taking care of Goose’s wife and child. That he was a born pilot and stop mopping around. He had known his father, flew brilliantly in Vietnam, died a hero.
Three days later Maverick showed up asking how Speed knew his father. Once the whole story of Vampires got out, Maverick wanted it. He wanted to be able to watch over his ‘family’ make sure Goose’s kid grows up, lives a long life.