Pensacola, Florida - The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, is seeking highly motivated Navy officer and enlisted applicants.
According to NAVADMIN 298/17, selected applicants will join the team for the 2019 show season.
"The mission of the Blue Angels is to inspire a culture of excellence through our flight demonstrations and community outreach," said Blue Angels applications chief, Chief Aviation Administrationman Mike Gallaway. "We're looking for well-spoken individuals that exemplify the Navy Core Values and bring a commitment to safety and excellence to their job every day."
Enlisted Sailors in the following E5/E6 ratings are encouraged to apply:
- Aviation Machinist's Mate (AD)
- Aviation Structural Mechanic (AM/AME)
- Aviation Electrician's Mate (AE)
- Aviation Electronics Technician (AT)
- Aviation Support Equipment Technician (AS)
- Aviation Maintenance Administrationman (AZ)
- Aircrew Survival Equipmentman (PR)
- Mass Communication Specialist (MC)
- Logistics Specialist (LS)
- Yeoman (YN)
- Personnel Specialist (PS)
- Navy Counselor (NC)
- Hospital Corpsman (HM)
Gallaway said paygrade substitutions are limited. Sailors outside of these paygrades who are interested in submitting an application should contact their rating detailer for further information.
Applications are also being accepted for chief petty officer billets in the AE, AD and AM rates. This year's message also solicits applications for a maintenance master chief petty officer (MMCPO).
The Blue Angels will also select officers for the following positions:
- One executive officer (XO) (2019-2020 show seasons)
- Three F/A-18 demonstration pilots (Navy and Marine Corps pilots are encouraged to apply) (2019-2020 show seasons)
- One naval flight officer (NFO) for the NFDS Events Coordinator (Navy and Marine Corps NFOs are encouraged to apply) (2019-2021 show seasons)
- One Marine Corps C-130 demonstration pilot (2019-2021 show seasons)
- One naval flight surgeon (2019-2020 show seasons)
- One administrative officer (2019-2020 show seasons)
- One supply officer (2019-2020 show seasons)
Gallaway said enlisted applicants will spend about five days working with the Blue Angels either at a show site, their homeport of Naval Air Station Pensacola, or at their winter training facility at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro, California. After all applicants have been interviewed, the team will gather together to make final selections.
According to NAVADMIN 298/17, personnel selected for this unique and demanding duty represent the hundreds of thousands of Sailors and Marines serving throughout the U.S. and abroad. Applicants must meet certain requirements to be considered for duty with the Blue Angels and waivers are not normally considered.
"The Blue Angels' training is pretty rigorous," said Command Master Chief Blake Schimmel. "There is a 90 day cresting program in which each Sailor and Marine earns their coveted crest and the right to be called a Blue Angel. Although each selected applicant is highly specialized in their own job field, our job is to turn them into 'The Blue Angels Team' through the cresting program, with an emphasis on teamwork and heritage. The next generation of Blue Angels will be the standard-bearers of the team's 72-year history. All of our team members came from the Fleet and will return to the Fleet, bringing some of the Blues to each command they return to."
The squadron deploys every year to NAF El Centro from January to early March for winter training. The show season starts in mid-March and ends with a homecoming air show aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola in November.
Because the team is a deployable squadron homeported in the U.S. and requires members to operate away from their permanent duty station in excess of 150 days per year, it is considered a Type 2 Sea Duty for rotational purposes.
During the show season, the team performs at an air show almost every week, but only about 45 members of the nearly 130 member squadron travels to any one show site, so all personnel do not travel every week.
"This means we may only take two of any given rate on the road for a particular show and they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of all seven jets on the road that week," said Schimmel. "This is why the team requires the very best technicians. Approximately 60 percent of our Sailors were a Sailor of the Quarter in the Fleet and it is amazing to work with a team full of high caliber personnel that are extremely proud of our Navy and our mission.
The required obligated service for enlisted personnel is 36 months. Navy/Marine Corps pilots will be required to remain on active-duty for two years following completion of their assignment with the Blue Angels.
Enlisted personnel with a projected rotation date of November 2018 through April 2019 are eligible, but others may apply with command and detailer approval. Navy officer applicants are required to contact their detailer or monitor prior to applying to ensure adequate timing to complete a two- or three-year tour without impacting career milestones. If not selected for the team, every member will still be allotted two CMS-ID looks before choosing orders, so no applicant will go "needs of the Navy" if not selected. Enlisted applications must be postmarked no later than May 1. Final selections will be made in June. Personnel selected will usually detach from their present command in October and report in early November.
Officer applications should be submitted no later than April 30.
Final officer selections will be made in July.
While platform experience is desired, maintenance applicants do not need to have experience with the F/A-18 Hornet.
"We're not just looking for jet folks," said Gallaway. "We have Sailors from every aviation background, including helicopter, O-level (organizational), and I-level (intermediate) technicians. What really matters is the Sailor or Marine's personality and how they interact with the team."
With a third of the team rotating every year, the team dynamic at the Blue Angels changes with each new show season, so past applicants that weren't selected should think about applying again.
"If you applied before and weren't selected, don't think you are never going to be a Blue Angel." said Schimmel. "This year's team might be the one you were meant to be on. We encourage people across the country to follow their dreams, but it's true for our Sailors and Marines as well. If your dream is to be a Blue Angel, don't be discouraged and apply again. We have loads of Sailors that applied multiple times and are now amazing team members."