Apply for the Blue Angels

blue-angels-crew

The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, known as “The Blue Angels” is seeking applications.  They are looking for Navy and Marine Corps enlisted and officer applicants who are highly motivated.   The Navy encourages Enlisted Sailors in the ratings and pay grades below to apply:

– Aviation Maintenance Administrationman, E-5
– Aviation Machinist’s Mate, E-4 and E-5
– Aviation Electrician’s Mate, E-4 and E-5
– Aviation Support Equipment Technician, E-5
– Aviation Electronics Technician (AT), E-4 and E-5
– Aviation Structural Mechanic, E-4 and E-5
– Aviation Ordinanceman, E-5
– Aircrew Survival Equipmentman, E-5
– Mass Communication Specialist, E-4 and E-5
– Logistics Specialist (LS), E-5 and E-6
– Yeoman (YN), E-6

The mission of the Blue Angeles is to enhance the recruiting and to credibly represent the Navy and Marine Corps to the United States and globally.  Those who are seleted for this very special job represent the hundreds of thousands of Sailors and Marines serving worldwide.  The training process is rigorous and challenging.   Selected applicants spent the first ninty days doing this cross-training and then receive their Blue Angels crest.

Each year, the squad goes to Naval Air Facility El Centro located in southern California from January to early March for winter training.  In mid-March begins the show season and it ends with a homecoming show aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola.  This is considered a Type 2 Sea Duty Rotation.

The team performs weekly at an air show during the season with about half of the 130 member squadron  The required obligated service for enlisted personnel is 36 months. Navy officers must have completed one operational fleet tour and pilots are required to stay on active duty for two years after completing their assignment with the Blue Angels.

A little history on the Blue Angels:  They performed their first flight demonstration in June 1946 at their home base, Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. Flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat, they were led by Lt. Cmdr. Roy “Butch” Voris.  The Blue Angels transitioned to the Grumman F8F Bearcat and introduced the famous “diamond” formation.  By the end of the 1940s, the Blue Angels were flying their first jet aircraft, the Grumman F9F-2 Panther. In response to the demands placed on Naval Aviation in the Korean Conflict, the team reported to the aircraft carrier USS Princeton as the nucleus of Fighter Squadron 191 (VF-191), “Satan’s Kitten”, in 1950.

The Blue Angels were where they began flying the newer and faster version of the Panther, the F9F-5. The Blue Angels remained in Corpus Christi until the winter of 1954 when they relocated to their present home at NAS Pensacola, Florida. It was here that they progressed to the swept-wing Grumman F9F-8 Cougar.  The next 20 years saw the Blue Angels transition to two more aircraft, the Grumman F11F-1 Tiger (1957) and the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II (1969).

In December of 1974, the Navy Flight Demonstration Team began flying the McDonnell Douglas A-4F Skyhawk II and was reorganized into the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. This reorganization permitted the establishment of a commanding officer vice a flight leader, added support officers, and further redefined the squadron’s mission emphasizing the support of recruiting efforts. Cmdr. Tony Less was the squadron’s first official commanding officer. On November 8, 1986, the Blue Angels completed their 40th anniversary year during ceremonies unveiling their present aircraft, the sleek McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, the first dual-role fighter/attack aircraft now serving on the nation’s front lines of defense. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have flown for more than 260 million spectators.

Enlisted personnel with a projected rotation date of September 2013 through April 2014 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.

Applicants will spend time working with the Blue Angeles at either a show site or at their homeport of Pensacola, Florida.  Applications must be postmarked no later than May 1,2013. In June, final selections will be made Personnel selected will usually detach from their present command in October and report in early November. Officer applications should be submitted, per CNATRAINST 1301.4H, no later than April 30.  The final selections will be made in July.

Complete application procedures and requirements are provided in NAVADMIN 354/12 (enlisted) and NAVADMIN 022/13 (officer). CNATRAINST 1301.4H contains further guidance for officer applicants.

Marine Corps applicant eligibility requirements can be found in MARADMIN 676/12.

“Applicants do not necessarily have to have F/A-18 experience to apply for the Blue Angels,” said Williamson. “Every season we hire Sailors from helicopter backgrounds, and O-level (organizational) and I-level (intermediate) technicians. We just hire stellar Sailors and Marines who want to represent the Navy and Marine Corps team.”

Special Program detailers assign Sailors to more than 20 special programs Navy-wide, including recruit division commander duty and recruiting duty, service on the USS Constitution or the USS Arizona Memorial, and assignment to the Navy Ceremonial Guard. MILPERSMAN 1306-900 contains a complete list of special programs available.

For more information, read MILPERSMAN 1306-919 and visit the Blue Angles’ website at www.blueangels.navy.mil.