By Cmdr. Tom Frosch
Commanding Officer/Flight Leader
U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron
The Blue Angels
Hello Blue Angel Fans!
This year promises to be our most exciting year yet, and we could not be more pleased to kick off the 2014 air show season Saturday right here at our winter training home, Naval Air Facility, El Centro, Calif.
When I was asked to write a guest blog for Navy Live, I struggled at first with the decision to breach the subject of last year’s sequestration. It’s a sensitive topic for us all. When sequestration took effect last year and the Navy was forced to make cuts, including the cancellation of our 2013 air show season, your Blue Angels were grounded. However, we didn’t just sit still. Instead, we refocused our energy on community outreach, contributing more than 5,000 hours of community service at more than 500 events. We also took the opportunity to reevaluate our team mission and goals as a flight demonstration squadron. Through this evaluation, a new mission statement emerged that I am proud to share with you today:
The mission of the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron 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.
Our goal for 2014 is to inspire young men and women not just to pursue a career in naval aviation or the military, but also to aspire to excellence in all areas of their lives. Your 2014 Blue Angels consider it an honor to continue the rich tradition of excellence instituted by the teams who have gone before us, since 1946, and set the standard. Our new mission statement reflects this broadened focus.
Most importantly, while we are privileged to wear the Blue Angel uniform, we never forget that we represent the more than 540,000 Sailors and Marines – our brothers and sisters – deployed around the world, around the clock. They are serving far away from their families, protecting our freedoms and way of life. At every show, we strive to serve as positive representatives of their hard work and sacrifice.
The Blue Angels’ 130 Sailors and Marines truly represent the rich tradition of excellence instituted by those who have served before us, and upheld by those serving now. But at the end of the day, we never forget – we represent the fleet. We come from the fleet, and we will return to the fleet. Each of us serves as a Blue Angel knowing that there are tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women deployed around the world protecting and defending America right now. And it is for them that we must continue to serve as the very best representatives of the Navy and Marine Corps.
Our passion for naval service and naval aviation is the message we wish to convey to young men and women across our great nation and across the globe. My challenge to you, air show fans, is to come out to one of our air shows during the Blue Angels 2014 season and be inspired and motivated by what you see our Navy and Marine Corps men and women accomplishing today! You can take a look at our 2014 and 2015 show schedules by visiting our website, or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
I know I’m inspired by our team every day, and I know you will be, too. I’ll hope to see you at a show!