Home » News & Analysis » Trump Tells US Naval Academy Class Of 2018: Dominate The Sea

Trump Tells US Naval Academy Class Of 2018: Dominate The Sea

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, fly in formation over the United States Naval Academy 2018 Graduation Day and Commissioning Ceremony at Navy-Marine Corp. Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. US Navy photo.

President Donald Trump congratulated the U.S. Naval Academy class of 2018 as they were commissioned Friday as Navy ensigns and Marine Corps second lieutenants.

“Together you are the tip of the spear, the edge of the blade, the front of the shield protecting and defending our nation,” Trump said to the graduating class.

During the Friday ceremony, 784 midshipmen stood and were commissioned as Naval officers, 236 midshipmen stood and were commissioned as Marine Corps officers, and 11 international students graduated and will return to serve their nations.

Nearly four years ago, when the class of 2018 was inducted on July 1, 2014,303 of the 1,191 new midshipmen were women, the largest number of women inducted to a Naval Academy class at that point.

Addressing the class, in a speech laden with congratulations to for their academic and athletic achievements – including beating the Army in 19 sporting events this past year – Trump encouraged the soon-to-be commissioned officers to continue the culture of winning.

“You crave adventure. You chase discovery. And you never flinch in the eye of a raging storm,” Trump said.

U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen from the Class of 2018 toss their covers in the air during the graduation and commissioning ceremony at Navy/Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Class of 2018 includes 303 women (25%, the largest number ever) and a total of 402 minority midshipmen (34%) out of the total 1,192 midshipman in the Class of 2018. The Class of 2018 has candidates who accepted appointments from all 50 states, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam and 13 international students from: Cambodia, Cameroon , Federated States of Micronesia , Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Montenegro, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Taiwan, and United Arab Emirates. US Navy photo.

In terms of policy, Trump discussed the recently approved Fiscal Year 2018 Department of Defense budget, securing $700 billion to support the military, which ended “the disastrous defense sequester.”

With a FY 2019 defense bill approved this week by the House of Representatives and being worked on by the Senate, Trump added that next year will continue adding money for defense spending for such items as new ships, new equipment and pay raises for military personnel.

“We are recommitting to that fundamental truth, we are a maritime nation,” Trump said. “And being a maritime nation, we’re surrounded by sea, we must always dominate that sea.”

Bulking up the nation’s maritime capability was also at the heart of Undersecretary of the Navy Thomas Modly’s address to the class. Modly, a 1983 U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former helicopter pilot, likened the Navy the 2018 class enters to the one he was commissioned into 35 years ago today.

Defense spending was increasing, especially spending on the Navy, after years of deficient budgets, Modly said.

“The Soviet Union had no choice but to retreat and eventually collapse into the annals of its own inglorious past,” Modly said.

Today’s military is charged with protecting U.S. interests around the globe, including spreading “the guiding lights of individual liberty and human dignity,” Modly said.

“Weakness in pursuit of such lofty aspirations invites aggression, and it always will,” the undersecretary added.

Before offering a final congratulations, Modly offered a bit of advice, honed during his years in the Navy and then in the business world at Price Waterhouse Cooper as the managing director of the national security practice and the Global Government Defense Network leader.

“Don’t ever worry about being loved for what you do; rather, love the country you’re asked to defend. Love the Constitution you’re about to pledge your lives to protect and defend. And most importantly, love the people you have been privileged to lead.

“Make sure they eat before you do. Care about their families as much as you do your own. Be invested in their successes more than your own accomplishments, and nurture their careers more than you pursue your own individual advancement. Value their lives to the point you will always consider their safety and security in every decision you make. And you will do this best by making sure they know how to fight and how to win,” Modly said.

  • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

    Beats Obama whining about how unfair the US, apologizing for everything we have done and all the other nonsense he vomited up.

    • FourWarVet

      President Trump gave a very good speech to the mids — one of his best (in my opinion).

      I don’t see why it is necessary to disparage the previous president? President Obama also gave a very moving and heartfelt speech to the graduating class of 2009. You may not have liked his policies, as I did not like some of his decisions, but his conduct while in office and in public forums was always respectful and honorable.

      For instance, here is some of the “nonsense” President Obama shared with the USNA grads of 2009: “This class is about to become the latest link in a long, unbroken chain of heroism and victory — a chain forged in battles whose names are etched in the stone of this stadium: from Coral Sea to Midway to Guadalcanal; from Iwo Jima to Inchon; from the Mekong Delta to Desert Storm. For some among us, these are not just places on a map. They’re the stories of their lives. And we honor all of our veterans here today.

      This chain of service calls to mind words that were spoken here in Annapolis on another spring day a century ago. The crowds assembled, the bands played, the cannons roared. As John Paul Jones’ body was carried to the Yard, President Teddy Roosevelt spoke to the midshipmen gathered there that day.

      “Remember,” he said, “our words of admiration are but as sounding brass and tinkling symbols if we do not… prepare to emulate their deeds.”
      Emulate their deeds. That is what you are called upon to do. And in doing so these past four years, you’ve not only given meaning to your own lives, you serve as a reminder and a challenge to your fellow Americans to fulfill the true meaning of citizenship.

      America, look at these young men and women. Look at these sailors and Marines. Here are the values that we cherish. Here are the ideals that endure. In an era when too few citizens answer the call to service, to community or to country, these Americans choose to serve. They did so in a time of war, knowing they might be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice.

      Indeed, as we near Memorial Day, we pay tribute to all those who have given their lives in defense of this nation.” – President Barack Obama

      • John Locke

        Nice speech but it was given by a black man so it is discounted by most of the patrons to this forum.

        • Ctrot

          Race Card, that didn’t take long.

  • archer

    God bless Mr. Trump for greeting every single one of these great people.

    • John Locke

      Trumpo is a draft dodger and unfit to shine their shoes.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Make USN & USMC Great Again!!!

    Congratulations, Midshipmen. The first of many great hurdles is now behind you. A big ring is on your hands to thump against tabletops. May you always serve your country with bravery and faithfulness, and may she never forget you for it.

  • Ctrot

    What was Bill “I Loathe The Military” Clinton’s excuse?

    • John Locke

      Nice. You got nothing so revert to unsubstantiated “whataboutisms”. My kids would do that when they tattled on each other …………. when they were 10.

      Try again.

      • Ctrot

        Nope, just betting that you’re a hypocrite who never criticized Bill for his anti-military stance.

        • John Locke

          You’d lose that bet.

          Funny how simple minds can’t grasp that opposition to one politician doesn’t inherently mean you favor the other party.

          Regardless, please try to stay current.

          • Ctrot

            LOL. Whatever dude, you just keep ranting about Trump at every chance. Talk about childish.

  • proudrino

    Trump Tells US Naval Academy Class Of 2018: Dominate The Sea

    Whatever happened to “Forged from the Sea?”

  • proudrino

    I remember a certain Kenyan claiming that he personally went in with SEAL Team 6 to take out Bin Laden. People like you are part of the swamp. I hesitate to question your patriotism on Memorial Day but I do question your motives when you actively want America to fail because of petty partisanship.

    • John Locke

      LOL, your memory is flawed. Please provide an audio clip where President Obama said he personally went in with the team to kill Bin Laden ……….. you can’t.

  • proudrino

    Remembering those soldiers and sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice. This is the inheritance of the Navy’s newest Ensigns.

    “It is the Soldier”

    It is the soldier, not the reporter,

    Who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the soldier, not the poet,

    Who has given us the freedom of speech.

    It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,

    Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

    It is the soldier, not the lawyer,

    Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

    It is the soldier,

    Who salutes the flag,

    Who serves under the flag,

    And whose coffin is draped in the flag,

    Who allows the protester to burn the flag.