Former Navy football player Cmdr. Matt Kaslik led the Blue Angels in Annapolis on Thursday. Kaslik graduated from the Naval Academy in 1995 with a Bachelors of Science in Oceanography and has served in the military ever since.
The Blue Angels are the United States Navy’s flight squadron with pilots from the Navy and Marine Corps. This group was created in 1946, post-World War II. Ever since then they have participated in a number of events, including flyovers in much of the country’s major sporting events.
Kaslik was named the executive flying officer of the Blue Angels in 2016. He is currently serving in this position for 2017 and 2018. When he was named to this position, Cmdr. Kaslik received high praise from Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi, who is the Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader.
“Cmdr. Kaslik is a highly-qualified officer and outstanding leader,” said Cmdr. Bernacchi in a press release from the Blue Angels. “The team will be sad to say goodbye to Cmdr. Flynn, but are also lucky to have had the opportunity to select such an outstanding and seasoned professional, such as Cmdr. Kaslik. I look forward to welcoming him to the Blue Angels.”
Previous to earning the designation of executive flying officer, he served as the Military Deputy to the Athletic Director of the Naval Academy. In this position, he “provided strategic advice to the Director of Athletics and Senior Naval Academy Athletic Association staff members regarding military activities with respect to Midshipmen Student Athletes, US Naval Academy operations and all functions supporting the Academy's Physical Mission,” according to his LinkedIn page.
His most notable moment as a player for the Midshipmen is when he made a fumble recovery in the 1993 Army-Navy Game on Army’s 19-yard line.
To say the least, this is a pretty high honor for the former linebacker.