2023 U.S. Air Force Academy Graduation Ceremony

Cadets graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy, June 1, 2023 after four years of rigorous training and education. Upon graduation, cadets commission as 2nd Lieutenants into the U.S. Air Force or U.S. Space Force.


I also want to say militarily, you have been through it all recognition. CST CST training BCT, all that you have done to make our academy better. But more importantly to make you better as leaders of character to go out and win our wars. And finally, athletically, you’ve done so much, so many championships. All Americans, you brought home the trophy. Congratulations on that. But most importantly, I just want to say thank you for developing yourselves as leaders of character. You have done an amazing job. I look forward to serving with each and every one of you in our Air force and our Space force. But I have to say you all know it when you see a turtle sitting on the fence post, you know, it didn’t get there by itself. Thank you to your family, your friends, your loved ones, your sponsors, your staff, faculty, A CS A T S coaches, just everyone in your support network that helped you to get here. Congratulations to you as well. Thank you for helping these amazing men and women get to the point where they are once again, class of 2023. Congratulations. I’m proud to serve with you. A final reminder that once the graduation ceremony begins, personnel will not be permitted to depart the stadium until the conclusion of the ceremony. An announcement will be made when it is time to depart. We appreciate your safe and orderly departure from the stadium today. Following the ceremony, stadium, exit gates will open after the thunderbird’s performance. We ask that you remain at your seats until the announcement is made that the gates are open. Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats and direct your attention to the south stands of the stadium as we extend a warm welcome to our representatives of the Dean of Faculty, Cadet Wing and Director of Athletics, mission elements of the United States Air Force Academy leading the sessional in carrying you’s academic mace is Brigadier General Leel Lara, dean of the faculty, followed by a representative group of faculty commanders and coaches. A cadet’s academic career begins with a convocation in which faculty carrying the academic mace process in to signify the start of academics. The mace symbolizes the university’s governing authority and the power to grant degrees. The tradition derives from medieval times in Europe and today’s implement is a combination of a royal sector and the battle mace as an ancient symbol of authority. It reminds us that universities are custodians of the enduring traditions of learning and of the power they bestow upon those who come to learn. The mace is again carried in today’s processional to signify the culmination of the cadets academic program just as the traditions of military pageantry honor the service of members of the armed forces. The academic procession honors academic achievement and reflects centuries of university history. Within this processional are permanent professors appointed by Congress, military faculty and civilian faculty, military faculty, bring air force and space force experience to the classroom and have earned a master’s degree or doctorate. Civilian faculty wear their traditional academic regalia prescribed by the degrees they hold, each element identifies the highest degree awarded masters or doctorate as well as the degree granting institution and field of study. Air officers commanding or AOC S command. The 40 squadrons that make up the cadet wing. These these commanders are selected through a highly competitive process. They are comprised of pilots, navigators, combat systems, operators, weapon systems, operators, space operators, engineers, intelligence officers, logistics officers, cyber officers, maintainers, special agents and many other career fields across the Department of the Air Force and Space Force. Our professional also includes representatives of the directorate of athletics, which is comprised of coaches and staff who train intercollegiate intramural and club teams as well as teach a robust variety of physical education courses. We are proud of our outstanding faculty, coaches and air officers commanding representatives of whom appear on the stadium floor today to honor the class of 2023. Please join us in recognizing them. Mhm. Ok. Round of applause for our Air Force Academy band. Ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the arrival of the official party. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Secretary of the Air Force, the honorable Frank Kendall, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Charles Q Brown Junior, the Chief of Space Operations, General B Chance Saltzman and the superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy, Lieutenant General Richard M Clark. Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States, Joe Biden Wing presents wing or harms. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the graduating class of 2023 graduates. Holt left has wing present harms, please remain standing for the playing of the national anthem and the invocation or harm at ease. Ladies and gentlemen, chaplain, Colonel Julian C Gaither, United States Air Force Academy Command chaplain, let us pray. Almighty God in the shadow of these Majestic mountains and campus steeped with a rich tradition and history. We are grateful to gather our Commander in Chief Air Force Space Force, senior leaders, Air Force Academy, faculty, staff, family, and especially our graduates to honor and celebrate the completion of a long four year journey. In June 2019, cadets, you arrived anxiously excited about I day. You thought basic cadet training was the hardest part. You did not know what was ahead. We did not know what was ahead. The world did not know what was ahead. We did not know a virus would shape and reshape your educational athletic and military journey COVID reminded us all that we must be prepared for the unexpected challenges of our world. So today, we are grateful that these graduates understand the importance of being ready and staying ready cadets in a few minutes. You will no longer be first, you will be United States Air Force Academy graduates and second lieutenants in the Air or Space Force. Joining the long blue line of leaders, you are endowed with a degree like no other. Your degree from the United States Air Force Academy comes with an expectation that you are ready. You have been trained to lead honorably and accelerate change as we protect our country and our world. You are the hopes and dreams of many watching this momentous celebration. We thank God for your parents, family, friends and teachers who have molded you. We are grateful for all the love and support. They have shown you on this journey and as you complete this chapter of your life, remember, it is only a chapter we believe the promise for. I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future graduates today, you will join the Long Blue Line much like I day in 2019, it comes with new sacrifices to defend our country. All the Air Force Academy graduates welcome you, all our veterans. Welcome you and all of us. Still standing to watch. Welcome you. For. We must stay ready with great determination and bold resilience. Class of 2023. You have, you have prevailed through the academic rigor, physical endurance and the global pandemic. Yet you did not give up. You did not stop you. Did you continue to prepare for victory?

May God continue to fill you with compassion for those in need and inspire you to live by our core values that oppression might cease, freedom, might prevail and dignity and honor might reign your God has and will provide everything you need for the journey ahead. So all of us here today, look forward to serving by your side as you lead our air and space forces into the future. Prepare for victory class of 2023 congratulations. We pray this prayer always in your holy name. Amen. Graduates take seats. Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. Ladies and gentlemen, Lieutenant General Richard Clark, the Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy. All right. What a beautiful day we have and I hope it stays beautiful. But today we are here for one reason and one reason only. And that is to honor the commitment, the sacrifice, the dedication of the US Air Force Academy class of 2023. So now let me uh open my folder and see what chat GP T gave to me too soon. All right, I’m sorry. But you got to admit artificial intelligence is pretty awesome. I think next year. I may not be standing here. They may have, uh, chat S U P T, right?

But that’s not all bad. I need all the help I can get. So, but seriously, to get started today, I’d like to quote my football coach when I played here at USA, a Fisher de Beri. And he used to always tell us any time you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you know, it didn’t get there by itself. It had some help and that help extends all the way from the White House, the Department of the Air Force, our local community and our loved ones. So today, we are honored to welcome the 46th president of the United States President Joe Biden as our commencement speaker. What a profound honor for our academy and our graduates, Mr. President to have you here today. We thank you and we welcome you to your United States Air Force Academy. We’re also honored to welcome the 26th Secretary of the Air Force, the honorable Frank Kimba, honorable Frank Kendall and his spouse, Beth. His son, James are 22nd chief of Staff of the Air Force and the next chairman of the joint, well, the nominated chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Q Brown and his wife, Shereen, the second chief of Space Operations for the United States Space Force General Chance Saltzman and his spouse Jennifer, the 19 chief master Sergeant of the Air Force Chief Joanne Bass, the first chief master sergeant of the Space Force chief Roger Tober, president of the Falcon Foundation General, retired Steve Larenz, commander of the Space Operations Command, Lieutenant General Stephen Whiting, and his spouse, Tammy CEO of the Association of Graduates and the Air Force Academy Foundation, Lieutenant General, retired Mike Gould and his wife Paula, the president of the Association and the Air Force Academy Foundation. Mr. Mark Hilly, our elected officials, mayor of Monument Mitchell Laine and Colorado Springs, mayor elect Jimmy Mola and his spouse, Abby. And last but certainly not least my wife, Amy. Round of applause for all of them. I want to welcome all of our guests and thank you for supporting our mission here in Colorado and Washington DC and throughout our military community. And I look upon all of our soon to be lieutenants and I remember when I sat right where you are 37 years ago, almost to the day. And my academy experience really built the foundation that would carry me through every phase phase of my career and bring me to this amazing institution for four assignments. First, as a cadet, then as a graduate assistant football coach, then as como cadets. And now is your superintendent. And I am grateful to have spent more time at the Air Force Academy than anywhere else in my entire life. Now, I have to admit when I was sitting in your seats, I was grateful to be leaving the Air Force Academy. But every other time I was grateful to be coming back. But regardless of why we’re grateful, it’s always important to express our gratitude. So to all of our graduates, be sure to take time to thank those people who put you on the fence post. And I’ll start by expressing my gratitude to your parents, your families, your guardians, your friends, your loved ones, because we understand that their support was vital to your success. And I know that raising Children is the hardest job in the world. I know because I have to in college myself. And if your kids were like mine, they’re tearing up your house, they’re eating all your food, they’re copping teenage attitudes, they’re spending all your money. And I know that some of you thought how in the world is this person going to be a functioning adult?

But today, I guarantee you these graduating cadets are far more than that. They are the most promising young leaders of our nation with a sense of duty and honor to serve and lead our airmen and our guardians. Thank you for preparing them for their noble destiny. Now, clearly getting them to this point, takes a village so we can’t forget to thank our dedicated faculty, our A O CS, our A T S, our coaches, our staff members, mentors and sponsor families early in their early in these cadet careers. They too probably wonder is this person going to actually make it. But here we are and there is no doubt in any of our minds that they are ready finally to the members of the long blue line, our local leaders, our community partners and the lifeblood of our academy, the 10th air base wing. Thank you for the unwavering support that you have shown our entire academy. So how about a round of applause for the entire village that brought these cadets to where they are right now?

And when I think about what this class has been through over the last four years, I’d sum it up in one word, resilient. When you chose your exemplar, you chose Colonel Leo Thorne and little did you know the similarities that you would share with Leo Thor together?

You embodied the closing words of the airman’s creed. I will never falter and I will not fail for those of you unfamiliar. Each class of our academy selects an exemplar whose qualities they hope to emulate. And each time someone says their class year 2023 they will shout the name of their exemplar. Leo Thorne was a Vietnam era fighter pilot who on April 19th, 1967, led a flight of four F 15 S on a mission in North Vietnam when one of his wingmen was shot down. Despite extreme danger and personal risk, he decided to stay and to protect his wingman and to protect the rescue effort. And when am 17 fighter rolled in then major thus immediately turned his nose engaged the enemy in a dog fight and shot down that MG. Now he was low on gas. So he departed to refuel. But after learning there were more hostile aircraft inbound. He returned to the scene alone. He spotted four me 17 s over the downed air crew and in true American fighter pilot fashion, he thought four of them. One of me, the odds are in my favor. He attacked the formation, damaging one of the one of the aircraft and driving the others away from the scene. Major Thor did not falter and he did not fail. He later received the congressional medal of honor for his heroism, but his sacrifices did not end there 11 days after that mission, he was shot down and captured by the Viet Cong becoming a prisoner of war for over six years. He never gave up. And once again, he did not falter. He did not fail. Now, during your time at the Air Force Academy, I saw first-hand the hardship of the class of 2023 had and how you reflected the qualities of your exemplar like Leo Thor, you did not falter and you did not fail. You saw challenges like no other class before you. During your first year, you found yourselves in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and we sent you to sent you home to learn virtually the Deans staff and faculty pivoted on a dime and moved from in person curriculum to distance learning. Let’s be honest. How many times did you forget to hit the mute button?

Or how many times did you wear COVID?

Casual, which is uniform on top DJ s on the bottom, you know, you did it. But that was the world we were in then in the middle of the pandemic. When the situation was uncertain and uncomfortable, we brought you back to us, a other universities were forced to shut down but we couldn’t because your country needed you. This was a heavy lift, but we made it happen. You made it happen. There were challenges and still you lifted up one another. You adapted and you set the example as upper classman, you stepped up, you pulled the wing through this huge change and you brought us back to normalcy. I’m proud to say you didn’t just survive. You thrived militarily. You stood up combat survival training. After a 10 year hiatus, you were laser focused on future conflict and you led our school in the development of leaders of character to win our nation’s wars. Your class is graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.11. So I guess that means you all made the dean’s list. It’s awesome. Is she here in your ranks?

You have a Rhode scholar, a Marshall scholar, two Truman scholars, two Fulbright scholars and over 230 of you have been selected to go on to get your advanced degrees next year and on the fields of friendly strife. Just in the last year, you won four conference championships. You had 49 all American athletes and you ranked 42 out of 325 schools in the Lear field cup competition, which is a compilation of all NCAA sporting competitions. This placed you number one in the Mountain West Conference and number one among all service academies far, far above West Point and Annapolis. And not to mention, you brought home the commander in Chief trophy. Thank you for that. I am so honored to be your superintendent because when the odds were against you, you did not falter, you did not fail and you not only survived but you thrived. And it’s my honor to serve alongside you in the mightiest military force in the world. There is absolutely no doubt that you left this institution better than you found it. And there is no doubt that you are ready to support and defend the constitution of the greatest country on the planet on behalf of our entire academy community. Thank you and congratulations to the United States Air Force class of 2023. And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome the 26th Secretary of the Air Force, the honorable Frank Kendall, sir. We are proud to have you here to celebrate these amazing cadets, these resilient cadets and an incredible group of leaders. Thank you, Sir, Clark could not resist that little West Point thing. Could he?

Congratulations. Class of 2023. Congratulations. Also to the parents, family members, loved ones and friends of the class. Well done, Mr. President. Thank you for being here today to help launch these outstanding young men and women onto their careers in the Air Force and Space Force. Clark and the entire US Air Force Academy leadership team and staff. Thank you for your leadership. As you have work to prepare this class for a bright future of service to our country. It does not escape my notice that I just may not be the speaker. You are most interested in hearing from today. I promise to be brief. There are a few things I would like to say to the class of 2023 first. I want to encourage you to savor this moment. It marks a major accomplishment in your lives and it’s a culmination of years of work and study. You have overcome some serious obstacles and challenges to have been admitted to and to be graduating from one of our nation’s military academies are joining a select group of military academy graduates, a group from which some of our nation’s most accomplished leaders have come. As you celebrate. I would also like you to give some thought to the new and awesome responsibilities that are about to rest on your shoulders. The mission of the Air Force Academy is to build leaders of character. Now, you will have to have the mission of being leaders of character. United States taxpayers paid for your education are now entrusting you with our national security and with their safety and freedom. This is a sacred responsibility, an obligation. You should never take lightly. Our nation supports our military academies because our country needs strong leaders, leaders who will serve America. Well, in times of crisis, as an officer in the military of the United States, you will take on unique and special obligations. A few years ago while I was out of government, I was invited to Singapore by their Minister of Defense to receive an award. I had to obtain permission from both the Department of Defense and the Department of State to accept. Not because I had been an under Secretary of defense, not because I had been a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service because I had been a lieutenant colonel, a commissioned officer in the United States Army. It was only in this capacity that I was subject to the emoluments clause of the constitution that restricts foreign gifts for those who hold an office of trust. You are now holding an office of trust, trust by the American people. When you accepted your commission yesterday, you took on a very special role in our American system. When you took your oath, swearing allegiance to the constitution, you accepted a duty and a responsibility for honorable and faithful service to the nation. Whether you will be operating an aircraft or spacecraft worth many millions of dollars or controlling weapons that could take millions of lives. After today, you will be one of the people our nation counts on for your maturity, your professionalism, your expertise, your integrity and your judgment as you control our nation’s most powerful arms, you are accepting a leadership role in the military in the midst of a strategic competition. That is as great a challenge as we have faced in decades. Certainly in my career, you will be challenged to meet the requirements of our current missions. While preparing for an uncertain future, you will be challenged to get everything you can out of today’s force and to help build tomorrow’s force. The resources will always be limited and the responsibilities will always be vast. You will be challenged by changing technology that alters the character of war. You will need to adapt as emerging technologies, create risks and opportunities equally significant. Our nation’s parents are entrusting their sons and daughters to your supervision and care as a leader of character. You are now responsible for creating and strengthening the readiness of the units you will serve in and lead as commission officers. You will be responsible for the example you set for the conduct of those under your supervision and for shaping the culture of the organizations you lead or a part of as cadets. You have already experienced organizational cultures that you are part of shaping in your squadrons in the cadet wing and in other organizations here at the academy starting today, you will take on the responsibility every military leader bears not just for their own conduct, but for the organizational climate in your unit and for the conduct of all the people in your organization, you will be the people, setting the standards for the units you lead, Let me give you one piece of hard won leadership wisdom. Your standards will not be defined by what you say. They will be defined by the conduct that you accept. You will also begin your career at a time when political polarization in our country is particularly severe in the summer of 2020 before the election, I wrote an article about what I thought the future president’s greatest national security challenge would be. I don’t know if then candidate Biden never saw that piece, but I think it still applies today. The challenge was to restore mutual respect and trust in a deeply divided country. I think that job is well begun but not finished. As President Lincoln eloquently observed a nation divided against itself cannot stand a military divided, also cannot effectively defend the nation. That challenge will now be your challenge as well. We are a diverse country, diverse from many perspectives. And after today, you will share the responsibility for leading a diverse American military along with our commander in chief myself, Jos Brown and General Salman. I know that you are ready to face these challenges. You have been educated, trained and inspired by loved ones by leaders and you have put in your work to continue your journey of leadership and service. Congratulations. Class of 2023. It is now my pleasure and distinct honor to introduce our commander in chief. President Biden has a long history in the business of national security, serving for a dozen years as a chairman, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and eight years as vice president before his election by the American people as our president, ladies and gentlemen, the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, the story of the nation by. You’re absolutely right. Hello, falcons. Great to be back at the Air Force Academy at the altitude of 7258 ft above sea level, far, far above that of West Point Annapolis. I figured I should say that. So my Air Force one pilots, Colonel Kirkland class of 99 Colonel Donnelly class of one, make sure they were willing to take me back to DC. Also brought today my Air Force and Space Force military aides, Lieutenant Colonel John Rowe class of seven, Lieutenant Colonel Anne Hughes, class of eight, these officers travel the world with me demonstrating and I mean this sincerely demonstrating the values of this institution every single day. It’s no exaggeration to say, I trust my life to academy graduates and some of my team members have trusted their lives to academy cadets. Few months ago, I called to speak to my national security advisor was out here, but I was told he was unavailable. Turns out first the Andrew diver had him out doing loops and barrel rolls on a glider. I asked if I could do that today and the secret service said, no, we’ll have to shoot it down. Look, thank you, Colonel Clark, Lieutenant General Clark. And to all the faculty and staff here at the Academy for your dedication and commitment in shaping the next generation of American air power and space power. And thank you to all the parents and families and sponsor families out there in the stands. You supported these cadets throughout their lives. You taught them how to stand up. Never bow, never bend, never yield. You inspired them to put integrity first choose service over self. Sounds like hyperbole. But it’s literally what you did to pursue excellence and all they do. But I know you’re bursting with pride at what they’ve already accomplished. So graduates give your family’s round of all, stand up and give them a round of applause. Show them your appreciation. I think they’re excited. The only thing your moms and dads are saying is I wish I could have paid for this education. Every other graduation I do. And I’ve done a lot of graduations, college graduations, I usually say parents today you all get a pay raise no more tuition. But Secretary Kendall General Brown General Salzman, thank you for leading our Air Force and our Space Force to take on the missions that most matter, most matter for today and the future. So we can continue to maintain air and space superiority just as we have in every US conflict in this century. But graduates, you’re not just commissioning into the Air Force and Space Force, you’re commissioning into a joint force. One thing working more closely together across the service branches than ever before in new, new ways to deter if necessary defeat every threat to our nation. Last week. I was proud and I mean it sincerely to nominate your Air Force Chief General C Q Brown Junior, the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, stand up General General, our country. Thank you. And I look forward to working with you as chairman. These graduates will have the additional pride of starting their careers as a service led by a general that might say butt kicking American airmen. Think you used that phrase class of 2023. Alright man, you better. This is a day you’ve worked hard to reach, think back to that first day of basic when the bus dropped you off at the footprints, didn’t know what the hell lie ahead. Maybe you were wondering what exactly you’d gotten yourself into. And then after a few days of acclimating getting yelled at nonstop by your cadre here. He knows words that mean it would only get worse. The P T ban has been lifted as if that’s a good thing. Right. P T ban has been lifted, marching down to Jack’s building tent city, even sweeping the dirt to make it look like there were hallways, you know, before making a pass, the assault course, fall in assault course, Nunes, Nunes and I tell you what, you’re all crazy at any rate. No, I’m not kidding. Remember, remember the pride you felt joining the flying wedge and the Z the first time during an acceptance day parade only to face an even more difficult challenge when the school year began academics. It wasn’t all pushups and cramming for Prague week. So uh to set the Guinness Book of Records. World Records, most simultaneous pushups, there had to be an enormous amount of pushups beyond you. We are, but all of you, uh I think you had some fun along the way. May be a good use of epic passes. That would be reason enough to join. Had a few steaks and Torit dinners, celebrate commitment and job drops. I got to see some of you at the White House a few weeks ago to celebrate winning the commander in chief trophy for the 21st time when I was graduating from high school. 300 years ago, I applied to the Naval Academy and I was picked by the senator. There’s two ways senators can pick, you can pick individually or they can name 10 people and let the academy choose. I was a relatively good football player. So I had a shot. I remember the day that a guy named Steve Dunning from my class was also nominated. Drove up was about seven in the morning. We were going to drive down to Annapolis and I had just heard the night before they had a halfback named Joe Bolio won the Heisman trophy and a quarterback named Roger Staubach. I went to Delaware Blue Horizons Rocketry Team managed to send the superintendent’s fight cap all the way to space. I don’t know whether he knew it or not, but even more impressive. You got it back some 70 miles away. Of course, there may also have been achievements of less sterling nature. Maybe he had to do a few tours. Maybe you’re one of the cadets who decided to enjoy the view from the top of the chapel on the box. So before I forget, since I was one of those schools at a state university, I found myself in a little bit of trouble. A couple of times. I really wish that a commander in chief had spoken at my graduation because I have the power to hereby waive any confinement to restrictions of minor cadet disciplinary systems violations. They are waived man. I wish my commencement speaker had that power. Look after four long years, you push to the limits and forwards into leaders of character. And after finally getting to jump into the fountain, you commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force, the United States Space Force, part of the greatest, and this is not hyperbole. You’re part of the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. That is the truth. That’s the God’s truth. That’s not an exaggeration, the finest military in the history of the world. And you’ve earned it this day is the day to celebrate. And as your commander in chief, I’m honored to be here as you take on the duties of serving and defending our nation in the years to come. You’ll have a memorial of you. You’ll take on greater responsibilities and you’ll be challenged even beyond everything you’ve yet experienced. But you have those mountains, you leave them as you look at you, I’m sure you’re gonna be thinking about this a lot as you’re moving through your careers, as you leave these mountains where the air is rare and take with you the confidence that your years have prepared you for whatever is ahead. After all your time at this proud institution is defined by so much history, so much tradition and marked by significant changes was referenced earlier. Unlike classes that preceded you, you’ve had to adapt and overcome time and again to reorient yourself together with your squadron and your wing and find new ways to soar has been mentioned already when COVID hit during the fourth degree year, you had to, you had to re re excuse me, you had to rapidly redeploy back to your homes and learn new ways to study and maintain camaraderie during COVID COVID se and by the way, I wonder how many of you had to kick your brother out of your room when you went back, kid inside recognition may have been cut short but it came back in the fall. You did the run to the rock. You earned the prop and wings just like every cadet before you resilience, creativity, endurance commitment. These have been essential parts of a unique academy training. You’re gonna need those qualities as you continue your careers because the world you’re graduating into it not only change you rapidly, the pace of change has accelerated as well. We’re seeing proliferating global challenges from Russia’s aggression and brutality in Europe. Our competition with China and a whole hell of a lot in between from growing instability, the food insecurity and natural disasters, all of which are being made worse by the existential threat of climate change. I don’t hear many of my friends anymore saying there’s no climate change. We finally figured it out. We’ve trying to push that since 1981 but we’re seeing engaging technology, emerging technologies, all A I from A I and 3D printing that could change the character of conflict itself, not gonna be easy decisions. Guy I met in the oval office in my office with 12 leading and there’s gonna be eight leading scientists in the area of A I. Some are very worried that they are can actually overtake you were thinking of planning. So we got a lot to deal with an incredible opportunity, a lot to do with. We’re also working across multiple domains, developing new capabilities like our new next GEN B 21 radar that you can be flying that sucker. We’re going to count on you. Keep us at the forefront of air and space dominance, enabling an entire joint force to be stronger. Graduates. You’ve made a noble choice to lead a life of service. Now you also shoulder a great privilege and a mighty responsibility. Leadership. Yeah, leadership word often used in the years ahead. Your airmen and guardians are gonna look to you for guidance and inspiration because the world is going to get more confusing. They’ll put their trust in you and you in turn must strive to always be worthy of their confidence. Listen to them, listen to them. I’ve always believed that America is strongest when we need not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. Let me say it again. I’ve traveled the entire world and in almost every country reason we respect it so much is not just our power but the power of our example. And it matters, it matters the same is going to be true in your own experience of leadership. No matter what changes or challenges come your character, your moral clarity, your capabilities must never waver again. Not hyperbole the nation needs, you genuinely need you. Our world stands at an inflection point. I had a professor who used to say an inflection point, but when you’re driving your car down the highway at 60 miles an hour and suddenly to turn the wheel 10 degrees, you can never get back on the same track you’re on before the decisions we make today are going to determine what the world looks like decades from now. No, graduating class gets to choose the world into which they graduate. Every class enters the history of a nation up to the point that has been written by others. A few classes once every several generations at the point in our history where they actually have a chance to change, change the trajectory of the country. The only reason I ran, I said to our speaker, I read his article, that’s why when I ran, I said I was running for three purposes, two of which were to restore the character of this country. Two to unite it. You face that inflection point today. And I know you’re going to meet the moment to make sure that the future we’re building is one that fundamentally aligns with our values, protects America’s interest to make sure that our skies and orbits remain open and navigable to everyone to make sure that new technology used to lift people up to new heights, new opportunities not hold them down or exploit them. And to make sure that the fundamental rules of the international system we put in place more than seven decades ago to prevent another world war are upheld and strengthened to address new threats. One of the greatest threats the United States of America brings to this effort as one of the greatest assets you will harness throughout your careers. It’s our unmatched network of alliances and partners, allies and partners. I’ve spent the bulk of my first year just reestablishing that meeting hundreds of hours with our NATO allies and others. Those nations who willingly stand beside us to face down threats and solve shared challenges. You already gotten some sense of that with the friendship and bond you’ve built with the cadets graduating today who will commission in their home militaries across Europe, Middle East, North Africa and in the Pacific, our partnerships amplify our strength and make us more effective and don’t think our adversaries don’t understand it so they work so hard to try to split us. We, we, we’ve seen it over and over again, especially in the global support for the brave people of Ukraine as they defended their families and their homes against Russian brutal assault. Remember or said Putin was certain that NATO would crack that they would not stand together. We put 40 nations together. The United States has rallied the world to stand strong with Ukraine and defend the values that the American people hold so dear. Freedom, sovereignty, democracy, simple dignity. Working with a coalition of more than 50 nations, we’ve delivered historic security assistance that has enabled Ukraine to defend itself. I’ve been there many times before the war. Spoke of the rod. I’ve been there since the war began. The United States Air Force and Space Force have been the backbone of that operation, providing airlift capacity and logistical, know how to move artillery, ammunition, fighting vehicles and that tank and air defense system providing missile warning space, space is r supporting communications, no other nation in the world, the whole world as enabling capacity we do and what we have to do to thank you and your immediate predecessors. Just a few weeks ago, I was with President Zelinsky and Hiroshima the G7. I told him that we work with our partners began training Ukrainian pilots in Europe on fourth generation fighter aircraft including the F-16. So Ukraine can defend itself today. And in the future, Ukrainian people’s iron resolve to live in freedom will never be broken. They are incredible average women and men fighting, giving their lives to their country and their families and the American people’s support for Ukraine will not waver. We’ve always stand up for democracies. Always ask you to contemplate what happens if it wavers and Ukraine goes down. What about Belarus?

What about the rest of Eastern Europe?

Look, the G7 also demonstrated remarkable unity in the world’s leading democracies when it comes to China United States, I’ve met with Xi Jinping more than any more than any leader in the world. Starting back when I was vice president, the United States does not seek conflict or confrontation with China. China and the United States should be able to work together where we can to solve some global challenges like climate. But we are prepared for vigorous competition and we will stand stand up for our interest, for our friends and for our values with our G7 partners. We should a set of shared principles for engaging with China and minimizing the threats to our nations by bolstering our economic security, resisting economic coercion, countering harmful practices and protecting a narrow set of advanced technologies critical to our national security by not trading, by working together with nations that share the most fundamental values. We multiply one another’s strength and firmly fix a course toward our shared vision for the future in every part of the world. We advanced our partnerships in concrete ways and strengthen American security in the Indo Pacific. We’ve deepened our alliance and our trivial cooperation with Japan and the Republic of Korea who are now talking together and working together to enhance deterrence against threats in the region including from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We’ve elevated the quad bringing together Australia, India, Japan and the United States to advance an Indo Pacific that’s free and open, prosperous and secure didn’t exist before we’re delivering on August. A new strategic partnership brings the United States close together with Australia and the United Kingdom, two of our most capable allies. NATO is more energized and more united than it’s been in decades. It’s now even stronger with the accession of our newest ally, Finland and soon Sweden the alliance as soon as possible. It will happen. I promise you working with Canada to upgrade no its capabilities to ensure that North America’s air defense surveillance systems are the best in the world. And in just the past 12 months, I’ve hosted in the United States, the leaders of every country in the western hemisphere, every country in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. We are a Pacific nation. These nations may not agree with us on every issue, but they want to work with us. They choose us, not because of threats or coercion, but because of the common interests we pursue together to make the world a better and safer place for everyone. That, that is what the United States stands for. When people around the world see a United States gray tail flying overhead with the stars and stripes on your shoulders, they know what that means no matter where you go. Freedom, opportunity possibilities, hope it’s who we are. It’s what we fight for. It’s why we choose this path. So graduates as you head out, whether to graduate school or pilot training to serve as missiles or space operators, scientists or engineers never forget the sacred oath you swear. And the mission you serve is something far, far greater than any person or president. It’s our constitution, it’s our country and it’s our enduring American values. You know, we’re the most unique nation in the world and say, well, everybody says, but we are, we’re the only nation in the world formed. And based on an idea, an idea, every other nation in the world is formed based on things like geography, ethnicity, religion. We’re the only nation building. An idea that we hold these truths to be self-evident that all women and men are created equal endowed by the creator with certain inalienable rights, life, liberty pursuit. That’s the organizing principle of America. We haven’t always lived up to it, but we never, except on one brief moment even thought about walking away from it. Generations of our forebears have fought and sacrifice to defend it. Sacrifices. We honor earlier this week on Memorial Day, my son was an army officer major, the attorney general who sought permission to go fight with his unit in Iraq for a year. Unfortunately, the was very close to these burn pits. He came home stage four glioblastoma died. I remember looking at him in the bed. This is the God’s truth. I had planned on saying this. Maybe I shouldn’t. He looked at me and said, we’re talking about war. You said dad, he was attorney general. Odds on favored to become a governor. Said, dad, the proudest thing I’ve ever done in my life is putting on that uniform, proudest thing just before he pass it. I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid. That’s what you all are made of as well. Prime pride, not in yourself but what you’re fighting for. It’s a sacred charge that you now inherit as well. This year mark the 75th anniversary, this year of an integrated force, the 75th anniversary of women serving in the forest, the 50th anniversary of an all-volunteer military. And your class is one of the diverse, most diverse classes in the history of this academy or any academy to graduate. That’s why we’re strong. That’s why we are, who we are. That’s why we’ll never give up. That’s why we also recognize that with every step we’ve taken to harness the full diversity of our nation to tap more of our indominable American spirit, our armed forces have only grown stronger, more effective and more admired. The same is true of this institution. This year’s graduating class is among the most diverse in our academy history. You’re graduating the highest percentage of women, by the way I met with uh who are those guys that fly over shortly?

You heard them, haven’t you?

Three of them were women?

So don’t screw around guys and the highest percentage of minority cadets in history, you’re strengthening force, a force that depends, depends on American values and reflect America itself. And each of you has an obligation to treat the armor and guardians you lead and everyone you encounter with dignity. Your honor code says we will not lie, steal or cheat or tolerate among us. Anyone who does. So it’s on all of you to root out the scourge of sexual assault and harassment in the military. They never tolerate it among, never tolerate to make sure that every member of our forces, no matter who they are, who they love, feels safe and respected in the ranks. Class of 2023 you’ve been trained to lead to set an example of your leadership for others. You’ve been given the skill set to think clearly and make strategic decisions and to do what is right under pressure. You’ve earned the trust and respect of your fellow cadets and your instructors. You are the very embodiment of the American military excellence and you are ready for anything. Anything as I look out today, I give him my word as a Biden. I’ve never been more optimistic. Never been more optimistic about the future of this country. No small part because of you. I mean it sincerely four years ago you arrived as individuals today, you’re part of a long blue line. Future generations will stand in your footsteps, strive to meet the heights of your, of your expectations, draw inspiration. The example of honor and integrity that you’re going to set held aloft by the core values you learned here, our air force, our space force, our joint force. Indeed our nation is safe and steady hands with all of you. May God protect you all as you set out on your journey. And remember, remember never been, never bow, never you. And remember who we are. May the Lord God and guide the ones who fly through great space in the sky and May God protect all those who wear the beautiful United States of America. Let us hear us one more time. The class of 2023 ladies and gentlemen, the cadet class president for 2023 cadet first class Yusa bomber, the summer cadet wing commander, cadet, first class Julia Gunlock, the fall cadet wing commander, cadet, first class Christopher Von Hoel, and the spring cadet wing commander, cadet, first class, Eric Ken will present the class gift to the president of the United States President Biden for your dedicated service to our nation, to the United States Air Force and to the United States Air Force Academy. It is with great pride that today’s graduating class designates you by acclamation, an honorary member of the United States Air Force Academy’s class of 2023 as tangible evidence of that honor. We ask that you accept this painting by Steve Weed on behalf of the United States Air Force Academy. We will also present you with our class coin as a token of our appreciation. Ladies and gentlemen, Brigadier General Linnel La Tendra, the dean of the faculty. Thank you again, Mr. President. Before presenting the entire graduating class to you, I would like to highlight a few individuals for special recognition. First, I call your attention to the 97 distinguished graduates who are listed at the top of the program. These cadets by their overall performance have placed in the top 10% of their class and have demonstrated excellence in accomplishing the academic, military and athletic requirements for graduation. If we observe the custom of academic honors, each would be graduating either Suu Kate Magna cum or Kum. Instead we use the term distinguished graduate more fitting in its promise of distinguished service to our nation at this time. Will the distinguished graduates of the Lieutenant Colonel Leo K Thorner class, please rise to be recognized. Thank you. You may be seated. Those identified with an s beside their names are cadets graduating with the academy scholar distinction from the Martinson Honors program completing a challenging academic enrichment path through our four year core curriculum. We would also like to recognize those cadets who are placed in the top 10% of our academic military and athletic programs identified in your program with a star by their names are cadets graduating with academic distinction. Those identified with a wreath beside their name are cadets graduating with military distinction and those identified in the program with a lightning bolt. Beside their name are cadets graduating with athletic distinction. Those exceptional 13 cadets graduating with all three distinctions are identified with a star within a wreath resting on two lightning bolts. Please stand and remain standing. As I call your name, James May Landy Brennan, James Everett Romanov Colt, Douglas Cross Keaton Charles Koenig, Hannah Claire Thompson, Dante Lauren, Cyrus Hannah Marie Silvestro, Samuel Bryce Agnes, Luke Alexander Ruing, Justin, Robert Waldman, John Frederick Coons, Shay, Elizabeth Burcham, Nathaniel Stewart Bean. Congratulations. You may be seated. In conclusion, 921 Air Force Academy cadets in this year’s class have completed all graduation requirements and 230 of my war fighter scholars are heading to graduate school a full quarter of the class. We are also pleased to have in the class 12, 4 year exchange cadets hailing from Cambodia, Jordan Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Romania, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Tunisia. Will these cadets please stand again together and be recognized?

Thank you. You may be seated. It now gives me great pleasure to present to you, Mr. President, the United States Air Force Academy, Lieutenant Colonel Leo K Thor class of 2023 and recommend each as worthy of the Bachelor of Science degree. Ladies and gentlemen, Colonel Arthur W Primis, junior director of Admissions and Doctor Hal Taylor, junior, associate dean for student academic Affairs and Academy registrar will now present the diplomas to the graduating class of 2023. Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States, Joe Biden joins us on stage to congratulate each of the graduates of the class of 2023. Will the distinguished graduates please rise and come forward to receive your diplomas. The class of 2023 S number one cadet in overall performance and number one cadet in academic performance, James may be Landy Brennan James Everett Romanoff Colt Douglas Kraus Keaton Charles Koenig Omar Sufian Hannah Claire Thompson Lorenzetti Cyrus Hannah Marie Silvestro, no, Samuel Bryce, Angus Luke Alexander Rolling, Justin Robert Waldman Claire Hughes Melton Lance David Daig Emma Elizabeth Abani, Sarah Nicole, John Frederick Coons, Carter Howard Margolis Shay, Elizabeth Burcham, William Scott Michael Nathaniel Stewart Bean, Haley Alexis, Nicholas Xavier, Holly Christopher William Von Hassel. Timothy de Breo Zachary James Alms Paulo Felipe Martinez Riviere Timothy Leo Goulet, Noah Thomas Stout Sure. Anna Isabella Kemper Nathaniel Burgess Bone, Alexander Rand Kits, Noah Charles Werner, Megan Elizabeth Wynn Jared Lamont Slack, Maria Bras, Lasalla Christopher Kim Agnew Zachary Kenneth Olson Nathaniel Carry Rex Road Devin Clark was Gabriel Sebastian Aikins, Jonas Hunter Michael Hughes Mitchell Drew Amstead Lucas, Jonathan Bo Yantis, Jack Andrew Ninos, Madeline Anne Williams George Maxwell Pingree Sarah Mackenzie Hauser, Michael Lewis Antonino, Jeddah Fay Kroll Benjamin Michael Steen, Nicole Danielle Gish Brandon James Cook, Madeline Rose Fisher, Trevor Michael Anderson. Dalton Lee. Weigel Skyler, Lyon Royce, Jason Faulkner, Wild Quinn, Anthony Henry Michael Garrett MGA Sean Michael Collins, Joseph Von Roy Woodrow, Turbo Madison, Isabella Marsh, Jeremy Marcus Vallejos, Graham Marshall Elder Caden Warren Wilson Cleo Mary Cowie Francesca Maria Moore Claire, Catherine Jean Porter Christos, Aidan James Gardner, Brian Minga Melching, Jacob Allen Stinsla, Joseph Presley Mules Stone Oliver Hans Gras James Carol Morrison Joshua Todd Sorenson, Christian Jessica Lanell Honor Su Jacob Dakota Kahn Logan John Brown. Maybe Christopher Lawrence Johnson, Amy Yuzu Kang, Catherine Elizabeth Van Hel Tyler Chase Thatcher, Margaret Clare Warner, Benjamin Wayne Light Kennedy Lyn Nevele Sydney, Milan Fitch Morgan, Ray Dean Matthew David Dickerman. A Joseph Boyle Mohammed Ahmed Jason Daniel Muff, Robert John Peterson. Yeah, Red Mark. Will the remainder of the graduates of 2023. Please come forward by squadron to receive your diplomas. Ladies and gentlemen joining President Biden on stage to your left Secretary of the Air Force, the honorable Frank Kendall and the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy, Lieutenant General Richard Clark. To your right chief of staff of the Air Force General Charles Q Brown Jr and the commandant of cadets Brigadier General Paul Moga squadron one, Harley John Luke Van Caldwell Maxwell Addison, die Cole Albert Forrester Austin Joseph Helm, James Chin Howerton Caleb Jeremiah Kempler Davis Aaron Marie Martinez, Samara, Nari Mason Car Drayton Ramsey Pole, Tristan Tyler Sloan Josiah David Stearns. What Julian Suzanne Valente Jennifer Renee Vandenberg, Nicole Anne Williams squad two. Joshua Tyler Bates William Gray Brinson Royce Brown, Catherine Ruth Cavender, Jacob Alexander Del Rosario, Frederick James Fees the Fourth Alfred Kendall Flowers, James Braden Ford Matthew Minsk, Andrew Joseph Hartnett, Cole Patrick Johnson, Jake Thomas Johnson, Glenn Harrison, Jones, Hayden Drake Peoples, Solomon, Ephram Pierre Louis Ainsley, a Prince Sean Richard, Emma Kate Smith, Nathaniel, Adam Spidel McKenzie Steiner, Carly Elizabeth Wallace, Jordan Lewis Williams, Luke John Wojick cadet squadron Lucas Owen Emerson Skyler, Marie Burke Charles Branston, Coward Catherine Margaret Crabtree Madison, Elise Edwards Carlisle Dylan Alan Franker, Cale Lewis Franklin A Frasier Owen Emmanuel Gaynor, Liam Charles Gibson, Stephanie Renee Gregerson, Matthew Raymond Hamilton Madison, Nicole Manon Taylor Andrew Metzger, Luke Michael Alexander Prater Alexandria, Marie Ser Jack Andrew Wael Andrew Colin, wait Finian Ellis West Felder Evan James Patton Zoli Cadet squadron four AM Shelby Taylor Nicole Belle Devin, Michael Burkhart Ryan Lee Clements McKenzie Nicole, Eddie Samuel Joseph Gilman, Thomas Christie Helman Kalin, Robert Johnson, Ryan Stewart Johnson, Thomas Robert Jones Junior, Alexander Kim Marlene Tumbleweed, Jessica Gabriella, Diaa Malone Gavin Scott Emily Suzanne Reeves, Spencer, Riley Schwalm, Ruslan Rachel Eileen Werner Cadet squadron five, Jacob Lee Angeletti Haley Marie Caleb Robert Chambers, Josiah Timothy Cole Christopher Cole Collins Daniel Tobin, Braden, Christopher Ford, Nicholas Timothy Frasier, Marshall Austin Fry Maxwell, Anthony Graves Keegan Viet Hu Allen Joseph Koli Bandana, Kotara Sarah Taylor Lane, Scott Allen Mason, Joseph Gregory Mez Ya, Catherine Grace Sawyer Joshua Ahmad Sky Hill, Camden, Andrew Schiefer, Alexandra Taylor Soul Laura. Catherine Wade Shannon Nicole Williams Christopher Anthony Winn six. Morgan Jane Adams Kenneth Lewis Davison Alexander Diaz or Grace Elaine Evers William Forrest Harbin Ari Jaka Hardy Justin Alan Harman Grayson, James Herrera Colin Dean Jensen Zachary Kalu, Lits Elizabeth Rose Lopez Cody Scott May Man Matthew Robert Mansour, Zachary Thomas Marine Chan Benjamin Thomas Peterson, Kayla Noel Phillips Britney, Joe Stanley Brandon, Noah Van Meter, Joshua Joseph White Cadet squadron seven the on on Dennis Lloyd Brianna Jasmine Carwell Andrew Richard, diver Elton Grace Gingrich, Jacob Stephen Alexis, Jana Hunter, Riley James Anna Sofia, Little Aah Dianne Marlett Madeline, Louisa McFadden Samuel Patrick Metzler Aidan McGuire, Nolan Jared Matthew Benjamin David Wrath Grace Rebecca, Sela Keegan, Joseph Smith, John Robert Snyder, ASHA Steven Seth Thomas Swain Chelsea Lynn Taylor Victor Manuel William Madison Yates Cadet squadron eight, Corey Joe Beach, Nicholas David Bourgeois Bailey James Brown, John Alexander Co Tyler John Dalzell, Ava Richmond, Damon Charlotte, Sullivan Fitzgerald, Eric Long Jolie and Gru John Hayward Henderson Christopher William Kane Hayden, Michael Carter Felipe Eduardo Man, Carter Hugh Murphy Caitlin Lee Nethercutt, John Edward Neiman Ellen. Oh Alison Grace Finney Gavin Mitchell writes Mason Ryan Roach Natalie Renee Root, Connor Daniel Rude Dawson J Alexander Mansour. So Cadet squadron nine London, Prince Jewel Amazon Mary Arden Black, Elijah Raymond Ethan John Randolf Garrett Jeffrey Greenwood, Sierra Sky Hillard Joseph Richard Castle, Alexander Scott Crider Jaden Scott Kring, Andrew Lou, Sarah Elizabeth Mark Ward, Devin Alexander O’Connor, Brian Park, Sophia McQuade. Parlo Mark Henry Pre Myra Elizabeth Quintana, Seth Forrest Rivera, Benjamin Seymour Smith, Camden Lenders Sofia Tarin Vaughn squadron 10 Spencer James Adam Tatum, Grace Bolt Amber May Bowl, Michael Antonio Brunson Taylor Matthew Coffee, Kevin Patrick Donnelly, Robert Julian Dwyer, Steven Ralph Ferrara Junior Camry Jaylin Heath Catherine Grace Hess Samuel Tommy Jackson Lamarche Granger Walker, Bertram Morris Arianne Joyce. No, Nicholas Steven Reed G J U B Robinson, Matthew Frank Rosa, Adam James Simon, Joseph Lewis Jackson, Dane Stratton, Ashley Fay Weidenbach, Timothy Elis, sir. General B, ladies and gentlemen joining President Biden on stage to your left, the chief of Staff of the Air Force General Charles Q Brown Junior and the Dean of the faculty, Brigadier General, Leel Lara. To your right, the Chief of Space Operations General B. Chan Saltzman and the Director of Athletics, Mister Nathan Pine Cadet squadron 11, Daniel Ladell Anan Trace. Logan Sear Morgan Hunter EIG Mackenzie, Joan Comer Lillian Catherine Larson William Isaac Li Jennifer Francis McFadden Nolan Patrick Murphy, Justin Andrew Pacheco, Riley Madison Payson, Clayton Reese Randall Rachel Marie Schaffer, Peter Daniel Spangler, Christopher Michael Stefanski, Nathan Thomas Jace Gunners, Brian went 12. Rochelle, Justine Allen Spencer, Dolan Anderson, Rachel Lee Bay Jacob David Boman, Jay Valentine, Clooney John Ryan Cook, Hunter Roland Die Luke Calloway, Nicholas Dane Hastings John Cole Hermanson, Anthony Carl Henson, Benjamin John Knutson A Hannah Annabelle Lee Quinn Thomas Andres Isabelle Elena Morgan, Johnny Lawson Nemecek Lance, Andrew Nichols, Catherine Grace Pendergrass. Desire William Dale Rhyme Kevin Avery Willman squadron 13, Jared Christopher Chio Academia Gabriel Victoria Renee Auerbach, Alejandro Casa Benavidez harmony Jero Blackstock Cars, Alexander Brown, Kevin Brennan Car, Landon Blake Chandler, Josiah John Debelo Rebecca Lucille Flat, Ashlyn. She Foster Danielle Alexis Franzen, Alexander Charles Hall, Harlan Perez, Jerome Cameron Linley Carris Garth Leo Knutson Nicholas Joseph Krug Shepherd Henry Cruz Marte A Sean Mayfield Isaac Dwayne Melvin Shannon Briel Oso 14 Siri NATO A Matthew Davis Benson, Ariana Chad Nicholas Bruce Jared Tyler Burdette, Anna Catherine Caldwell, Lance Everett Campbell, Cassandra Joys, Ethan Moat, Isabella, Nicole Gentilly, Madison, Claire Gillen, Ben Tyler Hepner, Patrick, Joseph Koenig, Andrew George Cruz Amelia McLaughlin Colin James O’Brien grant, Paul Austin McKee Park, Daniel Jung Park, Ethan Sean Patel William Logan Santiago cadet squadron 15, Alyssa Paige Angelino Anica, Ray Benson, Isabel Molina Boggs Blake, Arthur Cort Tristan James Denholm, Patrick, James Irwin. James Quentin Henderson Tyler Van Henson, Benjamin David Jefferson, Jeremy Greer Cap, Robert John Kirsten Key Isaac Samuel Lane, Man, Joshua Preston McConnell Braxton, Cole mc Moldovan Travis, James Moore Chase, Alexander Riddell Hannah Noel Schuster, Andrew Creek Smith, Alexander John Stamp Kyle Oliveros, Vita Stephen Gregory White Cadet squadron 16 Marone Abraham Acker Lauren Taylor Dylan Scott Bumpus Alison Rene Castillo, Richard, Aaron Day, Thomas Winfield Engle Ethan Proctor Lenore Jared Thomas Lu Emily Rose Lukowski, Patrick Joseph Madan Ethan, John Marshall, Nicole Dayton, Carl Colin Michael Seymour, Trinity, Nicole Wilson Kimberly and Wolfenden Cadet squadron 17, John Walters. Thomas Campbell, Matthew Christian Core Samuel Forster Donlan, Adrian Eduardo Falcon Addie Marie Forbes, Alexandra Starling Gardner Price Danner Johnson Daniel B G Joseph Sophie Marie Taylor Andy Doyle led better. The second Logan decker Martin Antonio Jose Martinez, Jonathan Parker Miles Daniel Adams Gabriel Athena Peltier, Adam John Pelman, Douglas Henry Poole Cameron Michael Root, Zachary Edward Russell cadet squadron 18, Nehemiah Byron Aria Jennifer Tofik Banna Yoma Niha bomber, Ray Elliot Benson, Jonathan Lee Branson, Freda William Warren Curtis. A Matthew Dollar Hide Abigail Lee Gary Bradley, Alexander Gonzalez, Joseph Francis, Hughes, Laurel and Clause Matthew Robert LaRosa Bryce, Alexander McCool Matthew Walter Miller, Nathan Tierra Richards, Jason Monroe Sugar J Allen Stearns Ryan Noel Stiffler, Ryan Edward Store Devin John Field, Shane, Alexander, Vo Colton Kenneth Woods Cadet squadron 19 Tristan Lee Barton Cole Michael Callaghan, Joseph Daniel, Aidan Patrick Dietrich Charles Anthony Irwin, Grace Marie Fleming. Edward Nicholas Fuller Madison, Rosemary Jewel Hirsch Brooklyn Abbey Messenger Kyle Robert Patterson Carly, Alexandra Pennell, Micah Paul P Bradley Brian Roberts, Nathan William Sand Henry Dwayne. Skulls Daniel Sevilla, Lauren, Nicole Zim 20 Lauren, Elizabeth Bog, Nathan Ray Brush Eduardo Cardenas Bennett Wolf Copley Camden, Patrick Donohoe Harold B. Andrew John Hancock, Sarah Elizabeth Hetzel Richard, Michael Hearth, Nicholas Jermaine Jackson, Michael Ray Catherine Mary Lewis Bailey Rose McFall, Christian Thomas Moody Nicolas Masa Nakao, Max Kendrick Perkins, Alexa Grace, Alessandra Auro Ram Desmond, Lawrence Rodriguez Dylan Robert Sinclair Oliver Zachary Washington. Thanks Richard. Yeah, and alone. I just Ladies and gentlemen, joining President Biden and our presenters on stage, Miss Jennifer Block, Executive Director of Athletics Cadet squadron 21 Brendan Joel Anderson, Irving Correction, William Irving Bollinger, Ashley, Nicole Burke, Michael Patrick Easter Day, Cheney, Leslie Brandon Martin Rebecca Grace Jamai Gabriel Reynolds K, the class of 2023 S number one cadet and athletic performance, Dylan James Martinez, Cameron Danielle McKenna, Paul, Michael Medina Serena and Minka Jeremy Nicholas Murphy Skyler and Riley Jason Joseph Rose, Jacob Evan Rush, Nicole Betty. She Alison Hope Staffer Christopher Joseph Sunshine Kobe Taylor Thompson Kylie and Tollison, Eric Van Cadet squadron 22 Mason Tillman, Alten Simon, Alexander Banks Connor, a Barberi Shakira, I Cologne Madera Gabriel, Michael Downing, Alexander Nicholas Fournier Sean Clayton Freeman, Christopher Joseph Haut, Juanita Hobbs Michelle Koski, Philip Andrew Luba Evan Noble, Marshall Timothy Gerard McClendon, Todd Thomas McGovern Claire Elizabeth Mulholland. Dominic Robert Ouk, Justin William Parsons, Delaney, Nicole Pollock German. Thus, Schwarz Braden, Ray Swanson, Stephen, Dale Thompson, Bradley Carl West Mitchell Reid Wolfley Cadet squadron 23 Colton Glenn Basford, Jeremiah Tyree Birdsong and Angelo Leonardo Capriola Blake, Philip Coven Cassidy and I Samuel Nicholas, Ian Michael Geza Gross Devin Alita Grundig, Ian Robert Hathorne Rita Elizabeth Jerome Justin Jackson Lee Landers, Tracy Jordan love Kyla Anne Milford Samuel Welo Radcliffe Trading Masao Tamia Zachariah Ellis Whan, Jonathan Hayes Wilkie squadron 24 Z. Mohammed Elijah Aaron brand Connor, John Callaghan Thomas John Corpus Alvin Elizabeth Dyer Adriana Grace Francis Hunter Kino Hiroshi Fujita Joshua Reynolds Gray Cooper, Delaney Hammond, John Thomas Jesson Patrick McMillan Miles Oden. We Ming Peter Lauren, MC Reid Conrad Samuel Joshua Keith Sheldon, Elena Marie Strube, Mark Anthony Tink Bennett, Alexander Whitney 25 Renee Audrey Anderson, Brendan Scott Bentley, Jacob Robert Bowers, Anthony Jose Charles Sofia Rose Davis, Andrew Michael Ely Joshua Dean Fields, Anna Catherine Fornari, Scarlett Marie Garden Friend Trevor Glenn Hawley James Hubner Spencer, Alan Johnson, John Andrew Kramer Grant Erickson Leap, Devin Michael Nelson, Ian Ray Rodriguez Jacob Ryan Schmaltz. M so Jonathan Michael Shear, Caitlin Brooke Smith, Jessica Donna Steger, Katerina, Alexia Enrique Antonio Thompson Ryan Michael Cadet squadron 26 Hayden Ross Archer Cassidy K Bassett Graham Barton, Andrew Thomas Cruzen, Bethany Christine Duggan Cameron Jacob Harris Janette Elizabeth Pal Donovan, Anthony Hodge, Ruby Jacqueline Her Haley Lynn Hoffmeister, Elizabeth Rose, Lamie Linus Benjamin Joseph McFarland Garrett. Anthony Neal Robert Dale Covia Pesca, Jake Freeman, Pringle Cayon Bailey, Raymond Caden, Joel Stein, Karina Maureen Swift Valeria, Alexandra Ojo Cadet Squadron 27 W Duke Irvin Binge Samuel Jacob Bryce Connor, Michael Chase, Nico Diego de Rose, Christian Andrew Edwards, Mark Isaac Johnson, Emma Grace Jones, Eric Bezos, Shane Sean Marshall Joseph Ryan Matheson, Jason Kalani, Me Alexander John Molino Jared Daniel Montgomery, Benjamin Tran Wyn Bennett J Norlin Savannah Joyce Petty George William Ritchie Nicholas Kai Schwendeman, Alison, Kathleen Thompson, Zachary David Wall, William Marshall Westerly Donovan Lee Williams Cadet Squadron 28 Abigail Renee Asplin Gabriel. Fernando Bartolome Zachary Norton Benson, Hayden Cooper Bullock, Benny Natalie Ray Dempsey Christian, Joseph Gabriel Ryan Matthew Hayden, Jaden, Andrew Hoyt Isabella Boris Elche Andrew James Kipper, Noah Walker Marshall Jacob Michael Aah, Jasmine Ricketts Grant, Charles Snyder, Courtney Lauren Swift, Jacob Lawrence Williams Juliana Danielle Waldman. Winters 29 Mark Andrew E He Luke Charles Ar Hannah Caitlin Barber, Nathaniel Scott Bassett Spicer Center Ethan Davis Dibert Colleen Marie Gear, William Daniel Ide Ryan Anthony Kinzer Graham, William Lain Jared Nathaniel Leopard, Noah Robert Luna Morgan, Patrick O’Brien Jace, William Pittman, Jessica Marie Daniel Christopher Simons, Cameron Casey Slade Nicholas Andrew Swanson, Joshua James to gunner pace vessels, Emma Katherine Wood Cadet squadron 30 to Michael Bartlett Blake Forest, Bride Thomas Ross. But Sarah Magali Caleb Benjamin Jacob Andrew Dennis, Nicholas Edward, Els Tate Henigan Fletcher, Cameron Scott Hawthorne, Jeremiah can Poppy Edwin Matthew Kus Joseph Lee Crystal Danny. Lee Mala, Mala Larson Stone mccarroll, Ethan McCann, Garin Gordons, Sidney Franklin Reyes, Anthony Gray Torres Marla Michelle Alvarez Wisneski. Thank you, ma’am. Ok. Ladies and gentlemen, joining President Biden on stage to your left, the Secretary of the Air Force, the honorable Frank Kendall and the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy, Lieutenant General Richard Clark. To your right, the chief of Space Operations General B Chan Saltzman and the commandant of Cadets, Brigadier General Paul Moga, 31 Grace and Beach Alan Earl Benson the second Luke Mathias begs Richard David Brown, Connor Blake, Carey Catherine Suzanne Carr. Benjamin Bryce Fonville, Trevor Anthony Trevor Mitchell Greenwald, Michaela Ryanne Howe Elijah Kim Gabriel Rose, La Rochelle harmony, LaValley Madison and Martin Joseph Lee McCollum, Joy Jin Metzler Christian priest Rachel McPherson Price, Christopher John Solei Devon Bruce Steinman, 32 Sheila Veronica Alda Kyle Stanley Baker, Mackenzie Page Bloom, Marie Paris Cabrera, Patrick Dwight Caratti Jordan David Dutcher Francis Frank Joseph Andrew Fuentes, MEREDITH Elaine Hickman, Radislav Joseph Korsak, Shane, Joseph Lin Grant, William Morgan, Tomas Francisco, all of us, Wesley Samuel Park, Elijah Malik Robinson, Christopher Peter Sylvester, Micah Henry Treptow, Lewis Quinn Walker, Benjamin Luke Waa Eric Rufus Wills the second squadron, 33 Trinity and Ab no Mason Kendall Brown. Andrew Joseph Cable Cole Jacob Kai Maxwell Gill Beck Thomas Grasser, Kai William Guzman Griffin Scott Hemingway Addison, John Howland, Gina J Jenkins, Tyler Neil Johnson, Trevor Francis Lanigan, Michaela, Jean Mickle Mary Margaret Moriarty Colin. Wade Poyer Nolan David Calvin Gibbs Swafford, Kyle Joseph U Blacker Cadet Squadron 34 James Hayward Adams Daniels, Brianna Estelle Edwards, David James Goner, Jonathan Ezra Godwin, Nicholas Tyler Reed Johnson Aubrey Lauren Kurt. No, Lie Jonathan Pietro Musca Lisa Michelle McCormick, Nolan Jose Rubio Junior, Ethan James Schofield, Kenya Emani Smith, Susan Abigail Walker Patrick Chong in 35 Enrique Luisa Alexis Ali Bishop Ali Breeding, Jake Johnson Chaffetz, Benjamin James Do Megan Lee Eric David Glass, Julia Brook Gunlock Ryan Isaac Hummel John Douglas Krolik, Matthew Edwards Alison Elizabeth Lord Samuel Robert Lowry, Nicolette, Nicolette, Rose McDonald. Hayden John Moody Levi, Oliver Moss Cooper, James Olson Isaiah Singleton, Keenan, Patrick Sweeney, Noah Marcel Thomas Andrew Cojo, Van Le Cooper, Michael Wilkin Tariq, Anthony Wiltz Cadet squadron 36 Zachary Aidan Andre de Bra Ari Simone Butler, Elizabeth Calico, Alana Kale Crompton, Jacob Barton Garbrecht Thomas Gibson, Sebastian Geraldo Alexander Nicholas Hijo Sofia Camille Jackson, Patrick McFadden, Levi Montgomery Martins, Ethan Thomas Story, Zachary Robert and to Julie Anne Trim Cameron, Alexander Allen Brooks, Adam Bird, William Richard Florence, Nathaniel, William Garcia Connor, Timothy Hoback Maxwell James Kane Robert Lamar Lawson Dalton Malone, the class of 2023. S number one cadet in military performance, Katherine Anne Manning, Jason Xavier Metzger Dotson Robert Rhodes Piotrowski, Tyler John Rio, Erica Paulina Rivera Spencer, Ray Abigail May Spitler, OVI Toman. Yeah, Jason Noble Tilley Grace Christopher Charles Winters 38 Paige Ianni Andrews. He was Carlos Andres Arriola. Isaac James Bowers, Gerald Raven Caldwell, Mark Anthony Capo, Dominic A Flack Will Sony Hall Corbyn Christopher Hodge Troy David Jenkins, Faith Hannah Noel Martinez Cameron Nicole Olkowski, Braden Cole Pauly, Alexandra Lindsay, Paxton, Alexander David Singh Susan Alan Young 39 Eric Evan Alt Curtis, Patrick Anderson, Alexander James Bach Drake Kendall, Barry Bennett, Giacomini Brewer, Tonique Cooper A Jordan Ray Gardiner Caroline Faith Harshbarger, Candace, Rosemarie Henderson, Ashford Toussaint Hollis. Yes. Like Hayden Grant Eisenhardt. You’re Matthew James Latin Junior, Adam Daniel Lobal, Peter Edmund Me Christopher Lawrence, Misko Hayden, Anthony, Mila Crane Henry Field, Stafford, Maya Thorson. Yep. Cadet squadron 40 Catherine Wallace Bain Sofia Renee Garrett Ralston crew Phillipos kilos is Georgi A Keely Mattia Heminger, Andrew Zachary Hotman, Brandon Min Kim Sabrina Marie Kim Austin Lee Lane, Maya Elizabeth McGonagall, Juliana Ray McKean Ramirez Maxim Pierre Marie Resnick Merrick, Adam Seeley Nathaniel Jackson, Stout Simon Matthew Charles Thompson, David Lang James Zachary Zirkel. I fall on the flags wing 10 shot Mr. President. Thank you for joining us today. Ladies and gentlemen, the president will be departing immediately following the Air Force and Space Force songs and dismissal of the class of 2023. Please please rise. As Brigadier General Paul D Moga Commandant of Cadets administers the oath of Office for the United States Air Force and Space Force. Graduates of the Lieutenant Colonel Leo K Thorson’s class of 2023. Please raise your right hand and after I read the oath of office, signify your acceptance by saying I do do each of you having been appointed a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force or the United States Space Force solemnly swear or affirm that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which you are about to enter so help you. God. Please remain standing for the Air Force and Space Force Songs class of 2023. You are dismissed. Stadium gates will open after the Thunderbirds air show. We appreciate your safe and orderly departure from the stadium today. The meeting point for lost visitors or Children is at the south side of the stadium under the scoreboard. If you become separated or lost, please plan on reuniting there following today’s ceremony. Yeah, motions all the emotions. Right. Right. This is so you’re feeling awesome right now, right?

What is it?

Yeah, you’ve been waiting four years for blood, sweat and tears. Oh, right. Going to um join you. Number one. Thank you so much. It’s all a bunch of people here today. Ok?

To be able to see my parents here. Honestly, I was just like, all right, I got this one together. Really?

Yeah, good, sir. The last thing, I’m James A N G Y C R W S O N. Congratulations. Come. You awesome. Quite cool. I, yes, Maria is second. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, let’s make some noise. Give it up for the class of 2020. Are you all ready for the Thunderbirds?


Jeff Zimmer Downey Thunderbird eight, the team’s advanced pilot narrator and a 2013 graduate of this fine institution from all of us here on the thunderbird team. We’d like to wish America’s newest second Lieutenants. A huge congratulations on this incredible achievement. Our world class pilots are setting up to drop in and demonstrate the pride, precision and professionalism of the long blue line that you joined just moments ago. Hang tight while we get ready to bring you the thunder and fire this place up. Oh, yeah. Moment. This is the part that you be for. I’m lighting the sky, lighting the dark, making it beautiful part of me. Human part of me. God, part of me. Oh, but I can’t hold it now. Lighting the fuse to explode. Yeah, I can feel the fire me. Mhm I can feel the Yes, this is a gift. This is a gift given from I am a storm. I am the clouds. I am the everything lied in my fuse to explode. Feel United States Air Force Academy stand tall as America’s ambassadors in blue open with a tribute to the greatest nation on earth, America’s own. Your 2023 United States Air Force Air demonstration squadron from Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada and known to all as the Oh, we shake it up. Could I come in right?

Be in 1962 the first solo pilot made their debut on the Thunderbirds and in 1962 the appalling solo was added now check six and welcome our current solo pilot. Thunderbirds five and six as they approach from behind and overhead to execute the ever inspiring crossover break.. Five thunderbird fans have your cameras ready for a picture of formation flying at its finest as a diamond is approaching from the right at a mere 18 inches apart from canopy to wink tip for your 2023 man pass in. This is how legends are made ranking number for you. Now, watching your left as Thunderbird five displays a historic thunderbird emblem on the bottom of his aircraft with a knife edge pass. Yeah. Yeah. Ok. With somebody, the original Thunderbird diamond was led by Major Catledge between Captains Buck and Bill Patillo as wingman and Captain Kag as the slot pilot. Now look in front and to your left as the current thunderbird diamond maintains precise formation position in the diamond. A man see you as we fly for you today, we are proud to represent America’s Air Force. We are the most lethal air force on the planet. Now look back to the right and fine Thunderbirds five and six teamed up this time to create a mirror image in their trademark Calypso pass. All I need is just a I was born for them. I know I Yeah, care for the critics. My word of laugh as if the force that they can, they just forget it. I think you forget it. No, I know. Follow me guys. We come from different places. Ladies and gentlemen, the diamond is approaching over your left shoulder in a tight echelon formation. Watch as one becomes four with the echelon pass in surprise you suffer. That was Thunderbird six sneaking up on you with the sound of freedom. Orange. Yeah. Cash. Cause we ladies and gentlemen look over your right shoulder for precision flying under G and feel the power of the diamond burner 3 60. As our two solo pilots, Thunderbirds five and six rejoin with the diamond to form the Thunderbird Delta formation. We would like to take a moment to honor those veterans and service members in the crowd today whose service and sacrifice have given us the freedoms that we all greatly cherish your patience. Thank you. True. The place. Watch it. Oh, watch him. Yeah. Now watch as Lieutenant Colonel Elliot repositions the delta formation for the delta role as you take time to watch the precision required to maneuver six F-16s as one formation. Let that serve as a reminder of not just the teamwork but also the dedication and commitment that makes our team and the United States Air Force the most capable and credible force on this planet. Yeah. Yeah. As the delta soars above, we are proud to represent the 68,000 airmen who are deployed around the world in defense of our freedoms. While our airmen, guardians, soldiers, sailors coast and marines risk their lives every day to fight for democracy. It is the families that stay behind who are the silent heroes of our military. Their sacrifices did not go unrecognized and we thank every mom, dad, husband, wife, son, and daughter who support their deployed military member each day while they fight to keep our country, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Now, from your right watch the formation of six F-16s precisely maneuver showcasing teamwork at its finest for the Delta 3 60. Yeah.

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