PENSACOLA, Florida — U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, announced officers selected for the 2019 air show season, Aug. 1.
The squadron selected three F/A-18 demonstration pilots, an events coordinator, flight surgeon, and supply officer to replace outgoing team members.
Each officer was recommended for selection by Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Gregory Harris, and ultimately approved by Commander, Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, for final selection to the 2019 Blue Angels team.
Many highly qualified Navy and Marine Corps officers submit applications to join the Blue Angels each year.
“It was an impressive slate of applicants this year,” said Cmdr. Eric Doyle, commanding officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels. “Every officer that applied represented the high caliber of personnel serving in our Navy and Marine Corps. It was a hard decision, but one that will ultimately lead to an amazing 2019 show season.”
The Blue Angels select “finalists” to interview at the team's home base of Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida, during the week of the Pensacola Beach Air Show each year. The team makes selections at the conclusion of that week.
The newly selected 2019 officers include:
F/A-18 Demonstration Pilots:
Navy Lt. James Cox, 35, of Chesapeake, Virginia, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic. He graduated from James Madison University in 2005.
Navy Lt. James Haley, 31, of Canadian, Texas, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to the “Gladiators” of VFA-106. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2009.
Navy Lt. Cary Rickoff, 31, of Atlanta, Georgia, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to the “Golden Eagles” of VT-22. He graduated from Duke University in 2009.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Adam Kerrick, 35, of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, is a Naval flight officer currently assigned to the “Star Warriors” of Electronic Attack Squadron 209. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2005.
Navy Lt. Aaron Hicks, 33, of Federal Way, Washington, is a flight surgeon currently assigned to Carrier Air Wing 17. He graduated from Western Washington University in 2007.
Navy Lt. j.g. Kristin Toland, 31, of Sedalia, Missouri, is a supply officer currently assigned to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1. She graduated from Columbia College in 2012.
Pre-selected to join the 2019 team was:
Navy Cmdr. William Schomer, 48, of Lorain, Ohio, is currently the air operations officer for Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. He graduated from Jacksonville University in 2006.
Expected to return for the 2019 season are:
Commanding Officer / Flight Leader:
Navy Cmdr. Eric Doyle, 44, of League City, Texas.
F/A-18 Demonstration Pilots:
Marine Corps Maj. Jeff Mullins, 36, of Memphis, Tennessee.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brandon Hempler, 33, of Wamego, Kansas.
Navy Lt. Andre Webb, 35, of Lawton, Oklahoma.
C-130 Demonstration Pilots:
Marine Maj. Mark Montgomery, 38, of Cartersville, Georgia.
Marine Maj. Kyle Maschner, 35, of Scottsdale, Arizona.
Marine Capt. Beau Mabery, 29, of Lompoc, California.
Navy Lt. Garrett Hopkins, 39, of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Public Affairs Officer:
Navy Lt. David Gardner, 37, of Warrensburg, Missouri
The new team members will officially begin their training for the 2019 show season following the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show at Naval Air Station Pensacola Nov. 3.
The mission of the Blue Angels is to showcase the pride and
professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.