Meet the next Boss! The US Navy Blue Angels announced this week that Commander Eric “Popeye” Doyle has been selected to lead the team for the 2018 and 2019 airshow seasons. He will take over the reigns from the current Blue Angel #1, Commander Ryan Bernacchi, at a change of command ceremony in November.
Cmdr. Doyle was one of six finalists for the position, and was introduced at a press conference in Pensacola on Tuesday. He is originally from League City, TX and is a graduate of Texas A&M. Popeye is currently stationed at NAS Lemoore in California where he commands VFA-113 “Stingers”, a squadron of F/A-18E Super Hornets. He will serve a two-year tour as Flight Leader and Commanding Officer of the legendary squadron before returning to the fleet.
“This was a childhood dream come true,” Doyle was quoted as saying. “My motivation to become a pilot came from watching the Blue Angels.”
Welcome to the team, Popeye!
Cmdr. Eric "Popeye" Doyle was just announced as the 2018-2019 Blue Angels Flight Leader and Commanding Officer! Congratulations, Cmdr. Doyle! Cmdr. Doyle will take over as the #1 pilot from Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi during a change of command ceremony this November. "This was a childhood dream come true," said Doyle. "My motivation to become a pilot came from watching the Blue Angels."