By Lt. Stephanie Homick, Navy Public Affairs Support Element - East
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Members of the Navy's flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels, visited Granby High School in Norfolk, Va. to meet with Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) students Sept. 23.
Lt. Cmdr. Jim Tomaszeski, Marine Corps Capt. Brandon Cordill, and Avionics Technician 2nd Class Will Martin, along with local Navy and Marine Corps recruiters, spoke to high school students from Granby High School, Lake Taylor High School and Lee Davis High School.
Students from all three high schools filled the seats of the auditorium, dressed in their NJROTC uniforms or Navy T-shirts. Prior to the start of the presentation, students chanted motivational phrases in unison.
Following the presentation of the flag and the singing of the national anthem, the Blue Angels played a video, which showcased their mission. Tomaszeski, the number two pilot and right wing of the team, said that the video showed the pride and professionalism of the U.S. Navy. He then spoke of his role as a member of the Blue Angels team and why he became a pilot in the first place.
"I wanted a sense of excitement," and the thrill of adventure while serving his country, said Tomaszeski.
Martin next explained his role as a crew chief, ensuring the maintenance of the aircraft and completing the final safety check just prior to the pilot strapping in for flight. Speaking about the pilot whose aircraft he inspects, he added, "His life in is my hands."
Afterward, students asked the Blue Angels and the recruiters questions about the naval service. Questions ranged from "what does one have to do to become a Blue Angel?" to "what was the worst weather the pilots had ever flown in?"
When asked what the best part of his job was, Tomaszeski answered, "This [speaking to students] is the most rewarding part of my job ... I hope to inspire the students to join the Navy, a global force for good."
The Blue Angels have performed for more than 427 million spectators since their inception in 1946. They fly the same aircraft and perform the same maneuvers as Navy combat pilots flying over Afghanistan and operating off flight decks of aircrafts carriers worldwide.