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President Trump says mission of Academy grads vital to keeping U.S. safe

2019 Graduation

President Donald J. Trump congratulates a cadet during the U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 2019 graduation ceremony at Falcon Stadium, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., May 30, 2019. Nearly 1,000 cadets graduated to become second lieutenants. (U.S. Air Force photo by Darcie L. Ibidapo)

Class of 2019 Graduation

Newly-minted second lieutenants celebrate at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., after receiving their diplomas during the Class of 2019 graduation ceremony, May 30, 2019. Nearly 1,000 cadets crossed the stage to become Air Force officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Darcie L. Ibidapo)

U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. (AFNS) --

President Donald Trump told graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Class of 2019 that they have a vital mission: protecting the U.S.

The president said this and more during his commencement speech to the class of nearly 1,000 new Air Force officers before handing each graduate their diploma, May 30.

“Your country is sending you on a vital mission,” he said at the graduation ceremony in Falcon Stadium. “With your help, nothing will ever, ever, ever stop the United States of America.”

The president spoke about his confidence in the new officers.

“Just being admitted to the Academy is a monumental achievement,” he said, before mentioning that one-in-10 applicants doesn't make the cut. “Only the best survive until the very end.”

Trump thanked the graduates for choosing to serve their country.

“When you chose the Air Force, you chose the noble road of service,” he said.

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein spoke at the ceremony before the president.

“There’s a nation outside this stadium depending on you,” Wilson said.

Wilson will soon step down from her position as the Air Force’s top civilian leader.

“This graduation will be my last official event as your secretary and it’s been an honor to serve with you.”

Goldfein said the Academy grads are in for an adventure.

“Today, you join an Air Force engaged in active combat operations,” he said.

The chief of staff said the grads are now officially in charge of what he called the Air Force's greatest treasure: “Young Airmen who chose to serve their nation in a time of war,” he said.

Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, Academy superintendent, along with each of the speakers at the ceremony, thanked the parents and families of cadets for their support. Silveria also thanked the Academy’s faculty and staff.

“We are truly privileged to have such a talented faculty and staff ensuring that the officers we are educating, training and inspiring here now will go out into our Air Force and make it their own -- shaping it into a more capable and powerful force than it ever has been, for decades into the future,” he said. “Thank you for all you do to make this happen.”

Just before ending his speech, Trump encouraged the new grads to take to heart their responsibilities as Air Force officers and leaders of Airmen.

“For Americans, the sky is never, ever, the limit,” he said.

To see Class of 2019 statistics, visit www.usafa.edu.

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