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News   Defense News

Biden Salutes Naval Academy Graduates

May 27, 2022 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

President Joe Biden was the commencement speaker today at the U.S. Naval Academy class of 2022 graduation ceremony in Annapolis, Md.

"The academy has trained you to be leaders, an easy word to throw around but hard to accomplish. You didn't take the easier route when you chose the academy. … You chose trial and sacrifice [to] be part of a mission that's greater than any individual," Biden said.

Two U.S. Naval Academy graduates hug while surrounded by others.
Graduation Hug
Members of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2022 celebrate at their graduation ceremony in Annapolis, Md., May 27, 2022. President Joe Biden delivered remarks during the event.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jordyn Diomede
VIRIN: 220527-N-ZU404-1763R

The most important lesson of leadership, he said, is to "always, always care for your people and respect everyone's power to be inclusive."

The Navy and Marine Corps draw from the full strength and diversity of this nation, he said.

"You're going to face challenges unforeseen. You're going to have to adapt. You're ready to lead your people through whatever lies ahead," he said, mentioning changes in new technology, global warming, the pandemic and inflation.

U.S. Naval Academy graduates toss their covers in the air.
Cover Toss
After three cheers for those they leave behind, newly commissioned Navy ensigns and Marine Corps second lieutenants of the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 2022 toss their covers at the conclusion of their graduation and commissioning ceremony in Annapolis, Md., May 27, 2022. President Joe Biden delivered remarks during the event.
Photo By: Stacy Godfrey, Navy
VIRIN: 220527-N-BD231-1605

Another challenge facing the world, Biden said, is Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Not only is Russian President Vladimir Putin trying to take over Ukraine, "he's really trying to wipe out the culture and identity of Ukrainian people, attacking schools, nurseries, hospitals [and] museums with no other purpose than to eliminate a culture," Biden said.

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Biden spoke about the importance of alliances and partnerships, citing NATO as an alliance to protect Europe and mentioning the quad — the U.S., Australia, Japan and India — which supports democracy and freedom of navigation.

"The Western foreign policy was built around the power of working together with allies and partners to solve problems beyond what we can do alone and to preserve stability," he said.

"This great academy has prepared you to face every challenge and overcome any obstacle. You are ready. My wish to you is fair winds and following seas because I know you will remain always faithful," Biden concluded.