Commencement Address at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, May 24, 2013 [open pdf - 146KB]
From the statement of President Obama: "So, class of 2013, in your 4 years by the Bay, you've met every test before you. And today is the day that you've been counting down to for so long. You will take your oath. Those boards and gold bars will be placed on your shoulders. And as your Commander in Chief, I congratulate each of you on becoming our newest officers: ensigns in the United States Navy, second lieutenants in the United States Marine Corps. And soon you will join the fleet. You will lead marines. And just as you've changed over the past 4 years, so too have the challenges facing our military. Before you arrived here, our Nation was engaged in two wars, Al Qaida's leadership was entrenched in their safe havens, many of our alliances were strained, and our Nation's standing in the world had suffered. And over the past 4 years, we've strengthened our alliances and restored America's image in the world. The war in Iraq is over, and we welcomed our troops home. Thanks to our brave personnel--including our incredible Navy SEALs--we delivered justice to Usama bin Laden. In Afghanistan, the transition is underway, our troops are coming home, and by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will come to an end. And today we salute all the Americans who ma de the ultimate sacrifice in these wars, including 18 graduates of this Academy. We honor them all, now and forever. Yesterday I spoke about the way forward in the fight to keep our country secure, for even as we've decimated the Al Qaida leadership, we still face threats from Al Qaida affiliates and from individuals caught up in its ideology. Even as we move beyond deploying large ground armies abroad, we still need to conduct precise, targeted strikes against terrorists before they kill our citizens. And even as we stay vigilant in the face of terrorism and stay true to our Constitution and our values, we need to stay ready for the full range of threats, from nations seeking weapons of mass destruction to cyber criminals seeking to unleash weapons of mass destruction."
Compilation of Presidential Documents: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CPD
Daily Comp. Pres. Docs., 2013 DCPD No. 00363