Obama to Give Commencement Address at US Naval Academy
President Barack Obama will give the commencement address at the US Naval Academy this year. This will be the first time he will speak to a graduating class of midshipmen since 2009. The announcement was made by the White House Monday.
The address comes during a time of transition for the military. The administration is reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan in preparation for the exit in 2014. The Pentagon is also suffering from the automatic spending cuts brought by the sequester.
Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Michael Miller said that it is an honor and privilege to welcome the 44th president of the United States and Commander-in-Chief back to Annapolis. He added that the graduating class will look to President Obama for his leadership and wisdom as they prepare for their first assignments.
The last time President Obama was in Annapolis in 2009, he told midshipmen to be on guard against both conventional and unconventional threats. The Commencement is set for May 24. It is when academy graduates will receive their commissions as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps.
President Obama gave his first commencement speech in Annapolis in 2009, which was more than a year before US withdrew from Iraq. He was applauded when he said that as Americans, we reject the false choice between our security and our ideals. He added that Americans must and will protect both.
In 2012, then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta gave the commencement speech where he said that building US strength in the Asia-Pacific region would be one of the important projects of the current generation.
In 2011, then-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates gave the commencement speech. In 2010, Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the graduating midshipmen.
White House spokesman Keith Maley said that the president is honored to deliver the commencement address to the graduating midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy. The institution educates the finest leaders to serve the nation and gives the midshipmen skills and character to lead the nation’s Navy and Marine Corps.