DOD press release from April 30, 2002:
Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. John E. Boyington Jr. announced today the selection of Cmdr. Russell J. Bartlett to lead the Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron (The Blue Angels) for the 2003-2004 show seasons.
The mission of the Blue Angels is to enhance Navy and Marine Corps recruiting and to represent the naval service to the civilian community, its elected leadership and foreign nations.
"The Blue Angels serve as role models and goodwill ambassadors for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps," said Boyington. "They represent the best of naval aviation and Cmdr. Bartlett will make a superb addition to the team. Selecting the one person from the six finalists to lead the Blue Angels was a difficult decision because they were all exemplary officers, skilled aviators, and proven leaders."
A Blue Angel flight demonstration exhibits the choreographed refinements of Navy-trained flying skills. It presents the aerobatic maneuvers of the four-plane diamond, as well as the fast-paced high performance maneuvers of the two solo pilots. The renowned delta formation is complete with six jets performing maneuvers, as a whole, in formation. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 350 million people.
Bartlett was born into an Army family at Fort Benning, Ga., and spent the majority of his childhood on Nantucket Island, off the coast of Massachusetts. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983 with a degree in aerospace engineering.
Bartlett has accumulated more than 3,400 flight hours in Navy aircraft. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal (three awards), Navy Commendation Medal (four awards) with Combat Distinguishing Device, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, NATO Medal and various other campaign, unit and service awards.
For more information about the Chief of Naval Air Training or the Navy's Blue Angels, visit our websites at: https://www.cnatra.navy.mil and http://www.blueangels.navy.mil