Know Your Military

Air Force Service a Noble Calling, President Tells Graduating Cadets

May 30, 2019 | BY David Vergun

"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.

A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy holds up a diploma.
Diploma Celebration
A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy celebrates after receiving his diploma during the graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 30, 2019.
Photo By: Bill Evans, Air Force
VIRIN: 190530-F-QA895-0053C
U.S. Air Force Academy graduates celebrate after receiving their diplomas.
Jump For Joy
U.S. Air Force Academy graduates celebrate after receiving their diplomas during the graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 30, 2019.
Photo By: Darcie L. Ibidapo, Air Force
VIRIN: 190530-F-GD464-0249C
A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy holds up a diploma.
Graduating Class
A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy celebrates after receiving her diploma during the graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 30, 2019.
Photo By: Bill Evans, Air Force
VIRIN: 190530-F-QA895-0054C

"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."

Cadets stand and salute during graduation.
190530-F-GD464-0658
Cadets recite the oath of office during their graduation ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Academy Class in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 30, 2019. President Donald J. Trump delivered the keynote speech.
Photo By: Darcie L. Ibidapo, Air Force
VIRIN: 190530-F-GD464-0658
President Donald J. Trump salutes cadets as he walks on a football field.
Trump Salute
President Donald J. Trump salutes cadets as he enters Falcon Stadium at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Class of 2019 graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 30, 2019.
Photo By: Trevor Cokley, Air Force
VIRIN: 190530-F-XS730-0022

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."

Air Force Academy graduates celebrate.
Graduate Celebration
U.S. Air Force Academy graduates celebrate after receiving their diplomas during the graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 30, 2019. President Donald J. Trump delivered the keynote speech and 989 cadets crossed the stage to become the Air Force's newest second lieutenants.
Photo By: Trevor Cokley, Air Force
VIRIN: 190530-F-XS730-0041C