MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, announced the officers selected for the 2015 demonstration team July 22.
The squadron selected a total of five naval aviators to join the team, including two pilots from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.
Captain Katie A. Higgins, the first female Marine pilot to be selected for service with the Blue Angels, and Maj. Mark Hamilton are among the total of 16 Marines and Sailors who will join the squadron in 2015. Higgins and Hamilton are both KC-130J pilots with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252.
Higgins, 27, of Annapolis, Maryland, is a 2008 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and Hamilton, 36, of Becker, Minnesota, is a 2000 graduate of Purdue University.
“We remain committed to selecting the most talented and qualified individuals to join the Blue Angels,” said Cmdr. Tom Frosch, flight leader and commanding officer for the team. "A significant number of extremely talented, experienced sailors and Marines applied this year, and we are proud of those we have chosen to join the 2015 team. They are excellent representatives of the skilled service members defending our freedom around the world.”
Each member is hand-picked from a competitive group of service members to represent their fleet counterparts.
“All of our finalists this year are incredible examples of some of the finest officers in the Navy and Marine Corps, from both the aviation community and the fleet,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Hiltz, Right Wing pilot and the applications officer for the 2014 team. “What was most important for us was to select the most qualified individuals for the team to represent the more than 540,000 sailors and Marines deployed around the world, around the clock. I’m happy to say that we’ve done that.”
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.
Since their inception in 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 484 million fans.