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Commander Eric Doyle has been announced as the new commanding officer (CO) of the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Blue Angels.

Doyle’s selection was announced by Rear Adm. Dell Bull, chief of naval air training, as the Blue Angels’ next CO Tuesday afternoon at the National Naval Aviation Museum aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola after being chosen by a panel comprised of ten admirals and former commanding officers.

Cmdr. Eric Doyle was announced as the 2018-2019 Blue Angels flight leader and commanding officer during a news conference at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. (Drew Buchanan/The Pulse)

Doyle will relieve Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi, the outgoing CO, in November. Doyle was chosen from six other officers who interviewed for the position this week.

Doyle will serve as commanding officer and flight leader for the 2018 and 2019 Blue Angels air show seasons. As commanding officer, Doyle will lead a squadron of more than 100 personnel and serve as the demonstration flight leader, flying the #1 jet. The Blue Angels perform for 11 million people annually across the United States.

Cmdr. Eric Doyle was announced as the 2018-2019 Blue Angels flight leader and commanding officer during a news conference at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola Tuesday. (Drew Buchanan/The Pulse)

Applicants were required to have a minimum of 3,000 flight hours and be in current command or have had past command of a tactical jet squadron.

“This was a childhood dream come true,” said Doyle. “My motivation to become a pilot came from watching the Blue Angels.”

Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi shakes hands with Rear Adm. Dell Bull, the chief of naval air training Tuesday aboard NAS Pensacola. (Drew Buchanan/The Pulse)

Doyle, a native of League City, Texas, joins the Blue Angels after serving as the commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113 at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. His career as a naval aviator includes assignments with the VFA-115 “Eagles,” Navy Fighter Weapons School, VFA-37 “Ragin’ Bulls,” VFA-15 “Valions,” and the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron. Throughout his career, he has participated in Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Inherent Resolve. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the Navy’s TOPGUN school.

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