Obama Salutes Devotion to Duty at Coast Guard Commencement

WASHINGTON — The small­est U.S. mil­i­tary ser­vice has vast respon­si­bil­i­ties in pro­tect­ing thou­sands of miles of coast, secur­ing hun­dreds of ports and patrolling mil­lions of miles of ocean, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma said today.

The pres­i­dent addressed 228 grad­u­at­ing cadets and 1,500 mil­i­tary per­son­nel and their fam­i­lies dur­ing a com­mence­ment speech at the U.S. Coast Guard Acad­e­my in New Lon­don, Conn. Oba­ma praised the cadets’ com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion to service. 

“I’ve seen your devo­tion to duty all along the Gulf Coast when the Coast Guard, includ­ing mem­bers of this class, worked day and night tire­less­ly as you led the largest envi­ron­men­tal cleanup in our nation’s his­to­ry,” the pres­i­dent said. 

“In you we see the same spir­it that has made your ser­vice ‘always ready’ for more than two cen­turies, invok­ing the Eng­lish trans­la­tion of the Coast Guard’s Latin mot­to, “Sem­per Paratus.” 

“In you we see the readi­ness that has made the Coast Guard one of our nation’s first respon­ders, lead­ing the evac­u­a­tion of Low­er Man­hat­tan on 9/11 and often being the very first Amer­i­cans on the scene, from the earth­quake in Haiti to the oil spill in the Gulf,” Oba­ma said. 

Coast Guards­men pulled strand­ed Amer­i­cans from the rooftops dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na, the pres­i­dent added, saved des­per­ate migrants cling­ing to rafts in the Caribbean and even today res­cue Amer­i­cans from the surg­ing Mis­sis­sip­pi River. 

The Coast Guard Acad­e­my, found­ed in 1876, is the small­est of five fed­er­al ser­vice acad­e­mies, with 1,030 cadets enrolled. Like the oth­er acad­e­mies, it is high­ly selec­tive and charges no tuition. The academy’s cur­ricu­lum empha­sizes lead­er­ship, phys­i­cal fit­ness and pro­fes­sion­al development. 

With the impend­ing retire­ment of the academy’s super­in­ten­dent, Coast Guard Rear Adm. J. Scott Burhoe, Oba­ma not­ed that the incom­ing super­in­ten­dent, Coast Guard Rear Adm. San­dra L. Stosz, “will become the first woman to lead one of our nation’s mil­i­tary academies.” 

This is a trib­ute to the admi­ral, the pres­i­dent said, but also “to the oppor­tu­ni­ties that the Coast Guard affords women of tal­ent and com­mit­ment, includ­ing the class of 2011, which has one of the largest num­bers of women cadets in the his­to­ry of this academy.” 

He com­mend­ed the class of 2011 on earn­ing the high­est grade-point aver­age of any class in the academy’s his­to­ry and not­ed the academy’s accep­tance of a range of inter­na­tion­al applicants. 

“This acad­e­my wel­comes cadets from all over the world, includ­ing two ded­i­cat­ed young men in your class from the Mar­shall Islands and Roma­nia,” he said. Oba­ma also acknowl­edged Pres­i­dent Jure­lang Zed­ka­ia of the Mar­shall Islands and King George Tupou from Ton­ga, who were in the audience. 

“They are two of America’s clos­est part­ners among the Pacif­ic island nations,” Oba­ma said. “Their cit­i­zens serve brave­ly along­side our forces, includ­ing in Afghanistan, and we are very, very grateful.” 

Oba­ma told the cadets that the nation, for its “enor­mous invest­ment” in trans­form­ing them into lead­ers, has great expectations. 

“Here at home, we need you to stop those smug­glers and pro­tect our oceans and pre­vent ter­ror­ists from slip­ping dead­ly weapons into our ports,” he said. 

In con­grat­u­lat­ing the Class of 2011, Oba­ma told the cadets that if they stay true to the academy’s lessons, he is con­fi­dent that “future his­to­ri­ans will look back on this moment and say that when we faced the tests of our time, … we passed our coun­try, safer and stronger, to the next generation.” 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twitter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →