Pilot With Area Ties Featured In “The Blue Angels” Film

MILLINGTON, Tenn. – For decades, the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team has brought its daring aerobatics to airshows around the world. The upcoming documentary feature, “The Blue Angels,” goes behind the scenes and brings the show to IMAX theaters and home to fans worldwide.

Lt. Cmdr. Julius Bratton, whose mother is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, served with the Blue Angels squadron and is among those featured in the film. The movie is set for release in IMAX Theaters on May 17 and will be streaming on Amazon Prime on May 23.

Bratton earned a bachelor’s degree in oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2011.

The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Chapel Hill.

“Growing up on a farm in a rural community introduced me to the concept of hard work,” said Bratton. “Agricultural labor is continuous and physical, which in many ways provided me with perspective when I encountered arduous tasks in the Navy.”

Bratton joined the Navy 13 years ago. Today, Bratton serves as a pilot.

“I joined the Navy to pursue a career in aviation with experiences unique to this sea-going service and to serve this great nation,” said Bratton.

The documentary follows aviators new to the Blue Angels through the rigorous training process required to perform with the team and keep up with the nonstop pace of the airshow season. It also highlights those winding down their time with the squadron before moving on to their next assignment. Additionally, the film delves into the tireless work of the maintainers who keep the aircraft show-ready and the behind-the-scenes staff who keep the show moving forward.

Time with the Blue Angels is temporary, and after their tour of duty members of the squadron return to the fleet.

In the film, Bratton serves as Blue Angel #6, the Opposing Solo for the flight demonstration team. Now back in the fleet, Bratton is a department head in Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, the “Gunslingers,” based at Naval Air Station Oceana, in Virginia.

“My time on the team has taught me the power of extreme ownership, radical candor, humility and optimism,” said Bratton. “With those four things, nothing is impossible.”

Bratton stands among the hundreds of naval aviators and maintainers who have served with the Blue Angels since 1946 and holds dear the legacy of precision, teamwork and professionalism upheld by the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron.

“I will forever be appreciative of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of this high-performing family that folks know as the Blue Angels,” said Bratton. “This experience taught me the recipe for excellence, which I plan to carry forward and apply to future challenges and endeavors.”

Bratton can take pride in representing the Navy and Marine Corps during their time with the Blue Angels.

“Serving on the Blue Angels meant representing every sailor and Marine in the United States Navy and Marine Corps, and showcasing the teamwork and precision of which our American servicemembers demonstrate on a daily basis, albeit usually deployed and out of the public eye,” said Bratton.

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