Commander Ryan Bernacchi joined the Blue Angels in September 2015. He has accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours and 600 carrier-arrested landings, and is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), NAS Fallon, Nevada. After graduating, he joined the TOPGUN staff as an instructor pilot and served as the Navy and Marine Corps subject matter expert in GPS guided weapons. Ryan served as a Federal Executive Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, one Individual Air Medal with Combat "V" (three Strike Flight), four Navy Commendation Medals, one with Combat "V," and numerous unit, campaign, and service awards.
On 22 May 2011, the Blue Angels were performing at the Lynchburg Regional Airshow in Lynchburg, Virginia, when the Diamond formation flew the Barrel Roll Break maneuver at an altitude that was lower than the required minimum altitude. The maneuver was aborted, the remainder of the demonstration canceled and all aircraft landed safely. The next day, the Blue Angels announced that they were initiating a safety stand-down, canceling their upcoming Naval Academy Airshow and returning to their home base in Pensacola, Florida, for additional training and airshow practice. On 26 May, the Blue Angels announced they would not be flying their traditional fly-over of the Naval Academy Graduation Ceremony and that they were canceling their 2829 May 2011 performances at the Millville Wings and Wheels Airshow in Millville, New Jersey.
On 27 May 2011, the Blue Angels announced that Commander Dave Koss, the squadron's Commanding Officer, would be stepping down. He was replaced by Captain Greg McWherter, the team's previous Commanding Officer. The squadron canceled performances at the Rockford, Illinois Airfest 45 June and the Evansville, Indiana Freedom Festival Air Show 1112 June to allow additional practice and demonstration training under McWherter's leadership.
Between 2 and 4 September 2011 on Labor Day weekend, the Blue Angels flew for the first time with a 5050 blend of conventional JP-5 jet fuel and a camelina-based biofuel at Naval Air Station Patuxent River airshow at Patuxent River, Maryland. McWherter flew an F/A-18 test flight on 17 August and stated there were no noticeable differences in performance from inside the cockpit.
On 1 March 2013, the U.S. Navy announced that it was cancelling remaining 2013 performances after 1 April 2013 due to sequestration budget constraints. In October 2013, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, stating that "community and public outreach is a crucial Departmental activity", announced that the Blue Angels (along with the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds) would resume appearing at air shows starting in 2014, although the number of flyovers will continue to be severely reduced.
In June 2014, Captain Greg McWherter, flight leader of the Blue Angels for 2008-2010 and 2011-2012, received letter of reprimand from Adm. Harry Harris after an admiral's mast for failing to stop obvious and repeated instances of sexual harassment, condoning widespread lewd practices within the squadron and engaging in inappropriate and unprofessional discussions with his junior officers" during his second tour with the team.
In July 2014, Marine Corps Capt. Katie Higgins, 27, became the first female pilot to join the Blue Angels.