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Blue Angels' Next Leader Is ’95 Aggie

Susan "Sue" Owen '94 April 6, 2017 3:17 PM updated: April 10, 2017 2:56 PM

Cmdr. Eric "Popeye" Doyle ’95 was announced April 4 as commanding officer and flight leader for the 2018 and 2019 Blue Angels air show seasons.

The opportunity is "a childhood dream, to put it simply," Doyle said. Seeing the Blue Angels in a Houston airshow helped spark his desire to become a pilot, he said.

Doyle joins the Blue Angels (the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron) after serving as the commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 113. 

His call sign, taken from the detective's name in "The French Connection" film, is the same as that of his late father, an Air Force fighter pilot. 

Doyle will take over in November, and the Blue Angels' 2018 schedule already includes three Texas shows as well as demonstrations from coast to coast.

He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet and F-22A Raptor as an operational test pilot and deployed in support of Operations Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Inherent Resolve.

His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal (with combat V), Navy Commendation Medals (one with combat V), and Navy Achievement Medal, as well as various campaign and unit awards.


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