"You could have chosen any school, any career you wanted, but you chose a harder path and a higher calling: to protect and defend the United States of America," President Donald J. Trump told the 991 graduating cadets of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Class of 2019.
Trump delivered the commencement address for the class's graduation and commissioning today in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"Today you take your place as officers in the most powerful air force in the history of our country, and frankly and very easily, in the history of the world," Trump said. "When you chose the Air Force, you chose the noble road of service and duty and devotion. You chose to break old boundaries and unlock new frontiers and live life on the cutting edge."
The president noted that the first air combat happened just a century ago. "You are the ones who will invent and define the next generation of air warfare, and you are the ones who will secure American victory all the time," he told the graduating class. "To dominate the future, America must rule the skies."
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson thanked the parents for entrusting their sons and daughters to the Air Force's care. She promised the parents that their children will have "the training and equipment needed to fight, win and come home again."
Reminding the cadets that active combat operations are ongoing in places such as Syria and Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein said "the long blue line is strengthened by the proud Class of 2019."