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.
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.
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.
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.