Vice President Mike Pence will address the Naval Academy Class of 2017 at its graduation ceremony on May 26, breaking the recent trend of the commander-in-chief addressing the midshipmen in his first year as president.
President Donald Trump instead will deliver his first commencement address as president to graduates of Liberty University, a Christian university in Virginia, May 13, followed by an address at U.S. Coast Guard Academy ceremonies May 17 in New London, Connecticut.
Each year, the president delivers the commencement address at one of the U.S. military service academies. The past three presidents -- Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton -- all spoke at the academy's graduation in the first year of both of their terms.
Bloomberg reports that Trump plans to attend the Group of Seven meeting of leaders of major industrialized nations in Italy on May 26, the same day as graduation.
The graduation speaker position traditionally rotates between the president, the vice president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. Though, that specific order hasn't been followed in recent years.
The notion of the president speaking at the academy in the first year of his term isn't considered an official tradition, just more of a coincidence, said James Cheevers, senior curator at the Naval Academy Museum.
Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter delivered the commencement address last year. Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke in 2015, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke in 2014 and Obama spoke in 2013.
Pence, the former governor of Indiana, will also serve as commencement speaker for the University of Notre Dame May 21.
The academy's graduation ceremony, held at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, is by invitation only.
Commissioning week events open to the public include:
--Community Service Awards, 9:45 a.m. May 22 at Memorial Hall -- Midshipmen will be honored for their volunteerism within the community. Numerous local community organization leaders will be represented. Seating limited.
--Silent Drill Performance, 11 a.m. May 22 at Worden Field -- The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, a Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps and Color Guard will perform a series of drill movements and precise handling of their hand-polished, 10 and one-half pound, Garand rifles with fixed bayonets.
--Herndon Monument Climb, 1:30 p.m. May 22 in front of the Naval Academy Chapel -- Plebes climb the 21-foot obelisk in order to retrieve a white plebe "dixie cup" hat on top of the monument and replace it with an upperclassman's hat.
--Blue Angels Performance, 2 p.m. May 24 over the Severn River -- The Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron's Blue Angels will perform a variety of high-speed, aerobatic precision-maneuvers in an approximate two-hour performance over the Severn River. A short rehearsal is held on May 23.
--Color Parade, 11 a.m. May 25 on Worden Field -- The highlight of the Color Parade is the formal presentation of the color company pennant by the superintendent, the company commander and the "color honoree," to the newly designated spring color company. Tickets required.
--Graduation and Commissioning Ceremony, 10 a.m. May 26, Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium -- By invitation only.
--Staff Writer Phil Davis contributed to this report.