USA — Mullen Praises Merchant Marine Academy Graduates

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2010 — The chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff praised the U.S. Mer­chant Marine Academy’s Class of 2010 yes­ter­day, urg­ing the 198 grad­u­at­ing mariners to live their institution’s mot­to, “Acta Non Ver­ba,” or “Deeds, not words.”

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen spoke at the academy’s com­mence­ment exer­cis­es in Kings Point, N.Y.

“Five decades in uni­form has taught me it’s not what peo­ple say, it’s what they do,” Mullen said. “And by choos­ing to serve, you already began a life with pur­pose and con­se­quences, not just at Kings Point, but around the world. 

“Soon, most of you will be com­mis­sioned as ensigns in the naval reserve,” he con­tin­ued, “many serv­ing in the Mer­chant Marine — a vital resource upon which our nation has long depend­ed in peace time and in war.” 

The chair­man cit­ed exam­ples from U.S. mil­i­tary his­to­ry and secu­ri­ty and peace con­tri­bu­tions of recent acad­e­my grad­u­ates. He not­ed the 142 mer­chant mariners killed in World War II, as well as acad­e­my grad­u­ates who gave their lives serv­ing with oth­er mil­i­tary branch­es in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

“A big part of the her­itage of this insti­tu­tion is remem­ber­ing those who have been test­ed the most when it mat­tered most,” Mullen said. “All of those on the roll of hon­or died for us, and I pray that they rest content.” 

Mer­chant Marine Acad­e­my grad­u­ates sup­port mil­i­tary oper­a­tions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the chair­man not­ed, and they help to con­duct human­i­tar­i­an mis­sions such as this year’s earth­quake-relief oper­a­tions in Haiti. “Our mil­i­tary, our nation, and even the world owe the Unit­ed States Mer­chant Marine a huge debt of grat­i­tude,” he added. 

Upon receiv­ing their com­mis­sions, the grad­u­at­ing mid­ship­men became part of the more than 2 mil­lion peo­ple who make up the U.S. armed forces, the great­est mil­i­tary in the his­to­ry of the world, Mullen said. 

Six­ty-five grad­u­ates accept­ed active-duty com­mis­sions in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. Five will serve in the Army Nation­al Guard, while the rest will serve in the Navy Reserve. The class also includ­ed sev­en grad­u­ates from Panama. 

All of the grad­u­ates earned a bach­e­lor of sci­ence degree while under­go­ing rig­or­ous sea train­ing, which includ­ed more than 400 days of work study at sea with var­i­ous Navy and Coast Guard ves­sels. Nine grad­u­ates served aboard ships in sup­port of oper­a­tions in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

“I’m grate­ful for each and every ser­vice and each and every one of you rais­ing your right hand to serve … our mil­i­tary,” Mullen said. “[Today’s mil­i­tary] and their fam­i­lies are the best I’ve ever seen. Not a day goes by when I’m not proud of the sac­ri­fices they con­tin­ue to make. And we are entrust­ing their safe­ty, their wel­fare, and, quite lit­er­al­ly, their lives to your leadership.” 

Despite the obsta­cles the grad­u­ates over­came over the past four years, many more chal­lenges lie ahead, the chair­man said. “There are many more tests to come, and next time it won’t be in the class­room,” he told them. 

Mullen’s advice for the grad­u­ates was to stay engaged in all aspects of their ser­vice and lives to keep pace and lead with­in the sea ser­vices’ ever-chang­ing mis­sion. America’s mar­itime mis­sion has been test­ed and is trust­ed, “but times have changed,” he said. 

“Who would have pre­dict­ed our mis­sile defense sys­tem of choice would come not from land-based sites, but from destroy­ers and cruis­ers?” he asked. “Who would have pre­dict­ed that some of our coun­ter­pira­cy solu­tions would not come from the sea, but from aid work­ers and coun­terin­sur­gency experts in vil­lages, help­ing locals to meet basic needs, find­ing mean­ing­ful, non­vi­o­lent employ­ment for young men?” 

The chair­man under­scored those changes, not­ing one thing that’s remained con­sis­tent among the sea ser­vices and mil­i­tary: “We are here to help,” he said. 

“The glob­al part­ner­ships we keep, those we work so hard to process through our deeds, dri­ve our nation’s secu­ri­ty strat­e­gy, and they pro­vide the kind of pres­ence and sup­port essen­tial to con­fronting chal­lenges before they lead to con­flict,” he said. “I offer to you that we gain more, become col­lec­tive­ly stronger, cul­tur­al­ly rich­er and infi­nite­ly wis­er by what we learn from others.” 

Mullen cit­ed the impor­tance of main­tain­ing and build­ing inter­na­tion­al part­ner­ships. Whether talk­ing about Afghanistan, Africa or inlet seas, he said, no ser­vice or coun­try can be suc­cess­ful alone. 

“As you head out in the world to sail, fly, fight and build part­ner­ships on the lead­ing edge of change, I know that you will remem­ber deeds, not words, mat­ter most,” he said. “Hold fast to your par­ents’ val­ues and your mariner tra­di­tions. Embrace your life’s next test, and remem­ber that we can­not con­trol or cap­ture hearts and minds. We must engage them — we must lis­ten to them one heart and one mind at a time, over time.” 

The U.S. Mer­chant Marine Acad­e­my is fund­ed by the Trans­porta­tion Department’s Mar­itime Admin­is­tra­tion. The academy’s mid­ship­men study marine engi­neer­ing, nav­i­ga­tion, ship admin­is­tra­tion, mar­itime law and oth­er areas impor­tant to man­ag­ing a large ship. 

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

Team GlobDef

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

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →