Captain Brian “Boss” Kesselring: Blue Angels Pilot is Stationed at Japan Today

Directed by Paul Crowder, Amazon Prime’s ‘The Blue Angels’ is a documentary movie that focuses on the titular squadron as the members engage in intense practice on a daily basis to master some of the most challenging and riskiest aerial stunts. However, one of the pivotal figures on the team was the leader — Captain Brian “Boss” Kesselring — whose perfectionist attitude and discipline turned out to be key for the success of the air shows in his final year as the leader.

Who is Captain Brian “Boss” Kesselring?

Born in the 1970s in Fargo, North Dakota, Brian G. Kesselring was quite close to his father, Curt Kesselring. Curious about the world of aviation and passionate about flying from his childhood, he used to flip through aviation magazines by the time he was just six years old. On June 20, 1986, at the age of 9, his passion for aviation intensified as his father took him to watch the Blue Angels in action. From then on, he had a dream to serve his country and become a part of the Blues. After graduating from Fargo South High School, he earned a Bachelor’s degree with majors in Physics, Mathematics, and Business from Moorhead’s Concordia College in 2000. Meanwhile, he also participated in extra-curricular activities such as basketball and track and field.

After that, Brian attended Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida, where he earned his commission in 2001. A couple of years later, he was designated a Naval Aviator. Working towards his aspirations, he worked night jobs to collect enough money for flight school over a couple of years to get his aviation license. He also went to the Navy Fighter Weapons School, where he served as a staff instructor for three years, from 2008 to 2011. In 2016, he graduated from the US Naval War College, earning a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies and Halsey Alfa AQD.

Apart from the academic front, the leadership traits engrained in him were key in shaping his future as a Blue Angel. His father, Curt, talked about him with Inforum, “He wasn’t a leader who banged drums and made lots of noise. He is not one who seeks out recognition. He passes the recognition on.” Finally, in 2019, Brian’s childhood dream turned into reality when he was named the Commanding Officer and Flight Leader of the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, The Blue Angels, for the 2020 and 2021 air show seasons, replacing Captain Eric Doyle.

He passed a statement after becoming the leader of the Blue Angels, “It’s absolutely humbling, and I’m honored to be here to represent the Navy and Marine Corps team. Throughout my career as an F/A-18 pilot, I’ve always looked to the Blues as a source of inspiration.” Brian led 141 men and women who were members of the Blue Angels in his number-one jet, performing at 29 locations across the country. In addition to his talent and experience, his leadership traits were also demanded as he instilled his skills into his team of talented pilots. During his time as the leader, he constantly communicated with his fellow pilots during flight to perfect their movements.

With 2022 being his final season with the Blue Angels, life came full circle for him as on the weekend of July 24-25, 2022, the Blue Angels squadron was set to perform an air show in Fargo, where it all started for Brian. But this time around, he was the one leading the squadron while inspiring hundreds of others watching from below. Throughout his rich and successful career in aviation, he managed to collect various accolades and recognitions, including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medals (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), and Strike/Flight Air Medal (six awards).

Where is Captain Brian “Boss” Kesselring Now?

Captain Brian “Boss” Kesselring is married to Ashley Kesselring, who is a major in the United States Navy herself. Until the filming of the movie, the couple had two adorable children. After his stint with the Blue Angels, Brian reportedly became the Deputy Commander of a Carrier Air Wing and got deployed off to Japan, where his wife is also stationed. In 2023, they brought their third daughter into the world, growing their lovely family further.

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