Commander Bryce Aubuchon grew up just north of Cape Girardeau in Washington, Missouri. He says his interest in aviation sparked when his parents began taking him on trips to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida. There he would watch the Blue Angels practice and soak in every movement of the demonstration. Little did he know, life has a funny way of bringing you back to where you started.
Aubuchon says he had a vague idea of what his path could look like after college, but he wasn't sure how to get there. He says one of his biggest influences during his time at SEMO was Dr. Susan Gonders. He wanted to join the military, and she helped him see that it was possible.
So, after graduating from Southeast in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications, he set out for a career in the Navy. That's when life took more than one unexpected turn. It all started at a desk, working as a physician recruiter where he set job descriptions, screened applicants, and conducted interviews. He says it was about as fun as it sounds.
A higher calling came in 2006 when Aubuchon transitioned from the civilian world to head to Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL. This was the stepping stone that would take him to new heights. Finally, in July of 2008, he earned the designation of Naval Aviator.
From Dreams to Reality
Commander Bryce Aubuchon will serve as the Executive Officer of the Blue Angels for the 2024 and 2025 show seasons. His daily duties are to act as second in command for the world-renowned flight squadron. He remains in radio contact with the pilots during flight demonstrations and takes care of the administrative duties of 143 sailors and Marines. The group's show season will run for eight months in 32 cities with 64 live demonstrations from March through November.
Aubuchon says he feels immense gratitude toward SEMO. For him, the professors at SEMO were not just educators, they were mentors who genuinely cared about a student's success. The professors and the university community instilled in him the belief that anyone can achieve their goals with determination and hard work. He says to anyone aspiring to follow their dreams, remember that the starting point is just the beginning – the destination is entirely up to you.