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Chesapeake native to join Navy’s Blue Angels as pilot

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The U.S. Navy has picked a local sailor to be one of the newest members of the Blue Angels flight team.

Lt. James Cox, 35, is a Chesapeake native and a 2005 graduate of James Madison University.

He’s an F/-18 pilot, currently assigned to the Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic based at NAS Oceana.

He was chosen among a long list of applicants from the Navy and Marine Corps.

“It was an impressive slate of applicants this year,” said Cmdr. Eric Doyle, commanding officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels. “Every officer that applied represented the high caliber of personnel serving in our Navy and Marine Corps. It was a hard decision, but one that will ultimately lead to an amazing 2019 show season.”

The two other pilots chosen are Navy Lt. James Haley, 31, of Canadian, Texas, and Navy Lt. Cary Rickoff, 31, of Atlanta, Georgia.

Haley, a Naval Academy graduate, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to the “Gladiators” of VFA-106. Rickoff, a graduate of Duke University, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to the “Golden Eagles” of VT-22.

The Blue Angels is the Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, which tours the country showing off their incredible moves.

They’re scheduled to be at the NAS Oceana Airshow in Virginia Beach in September.

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