By: Ashley Craig, Navy Office of Community Outreach

 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.

Chief Petty Officer Keri Kalmus, a native of Ash Flat, Arkansas, 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.

Kalmus graduated from Highland High School in 2008. Additionally, Kalmus earned an associate degree from Ozarka College.

The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Ash Flat.

“The biggest life lesson I have learned would be that no matter what, you can do what you want or put your mind to,” said Kalmus. “My memaw, Annalee Morris, was my hero growing up. She was tough, stern, loving and just amazing. She always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted and not to wait around for a man or anyone to get where I wanted to be in life. That has stayed with me through everything I have accomplished in my Naval career. Never take ‘no’ as an answer, always find a yes.”

Kalmus joined the Navy nine years ago. Today, Kalmus serves as an aviation structural mechanic.

“I joined the Navy to help take care of my mom, who is legally blind and has a lot of health issues,” said Kalmus. “I went and got my associate degree, but I was struggling trying to figure out how to go to a university and take care of my mom. So the Navy has helped me provide for her time and time again while still being able to attend college.”

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. Kalmus now serves with Fleet Readiness Center Northwest at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.

“Being a part of the team where everyone has to act and perform at a higher level set me up for nothing but success in the fleet,” said Kalmus. “I am a chief because of my career and the Blue Angels definitely helped me.”

Kalmus 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.

“Being able to bring joy and laughter and adrenaline to the faces of so many across the country is an unbelievable experience,” said Kalmus. “I hope this documentary does just that, especially for the people who have never heard of the Blue Angels.”

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

“Serving with the Blue Angels was an absolute dream come true,” said Kalmus. “It was a whirlwind of adrenaline, precision, and pure joy. Being part of such an elite team, soaring through the skies and inspiring audiences worldwide was beyond fulfilling. The camaraderie among the team members was unmatched, and the sense of pride in representing the Navy and the United States was palpable. Serving with the Blue Angels was not just a job; it was a privilege and an honor that filled me with immense joy every single day.”

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