Coast Guard Academy Will Get Commencement Address from Biden

Joe Biden welcomes the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's Class.
Vice President Joe Biden welcomes the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's Class, May 22, 2013, at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

President Joe Biden will deliver the address at the Coast Guard Academy's commencement ceremony May 19, his first at a service academy as commander in chief.

The ceremony marks the school's 140th graduation and Biden's second keynote address there: He spoke at the event in 2013 as vice president.

Academy Superintendent Rear Adm. Bill Kelly said Monday the school is honored to host the president. "It will be a memorable event for our community, as well as a great opportunity to showcase the Academy and the city of New London on a national stage," he said.

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The event will take place nearly four years to the day after Biden's predecessor delivered the commencement speech at the New London, Connecticut, school. President Donald Trump's first appearance as president at a service academy graduation took place at the Coast Guard Academy on May 17, 2017.

"You have to learn how to act under great, great pressure. … The Coast Guard is the gold standard. ... You don't run from danger, you chase it," Trump told the graduates during his speech.

The Coast Guard Academy will hold its ceremony on Cadet Memorial Field with a limited number of guests in attendance. Last year, it held a virtual ceremony, with the cadets attending at home. Then-Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf delivered the address.

Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver the commencement address at U.S. Naval Academy during a ceremony to be held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on May 28. That ceremony will be an in-person event with each midshipman being allowed two to four guests at various events spaced across Commissioning Week. Last year, the academy held the ceremony virtually in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley will deliver the keynote speech at the Air Force's graduation ceremony, scheduled for May 26. It will be an in-person event held at Falcon Stadium, with each graduate allowed eight guests.

"General Milley has served in numerous command and staff positions as well as several operational deployments throughout his distinguished Army career," Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard Clark said in announcing the guest speaker. "Graduating cadets and their loved ones are privileged to have the opportunity to welcome the chairman and hear his thoughts and insights on leadership and service."

The U.S. Military Academy has not yet announced the speaker for its commencement and commissioning ceremony, scheduled for May 22. A spokeswoman for the West Point, New York, school said it traditionally releases the information only after the speaker announces it.

Historically, the speakers at the academies rotate among the schools and include the president, vice president and secretary of defense.

-- Patricia Kime can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @patriciakime.

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