US Navy Academy Graduates Class of 2013
1,047 men and women, including 603 Navy ensigns and 223 Marine Corps second lieutenants graduated in the presence of President Obama.
An estimated 30,000 people filled the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Md., May 24 to witness the swearing in of the U.S. military's newest officers.
The class also included three graduates commissioned as Air Force second lieutenants and 16 foreign exchange students. Eighty percent of the graduating class are men and 20 percent are women, 13 of whom will serve on submarines. Minorities make up 31 percent of the class, making it the most diverse graduating class in the history of the Naval Academy.
The ceremony recognized four honorary graduates, including the late Midshipman Austin Zalik, a member of the Class of 2013 who was killed in a vehicle accident last summer. The other honorary graduates were Naval Academy history Professor Mary DeCredico, Blue and Gold Officer James Carrier and local business owner Brendan Fisher.
President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address, calling on the graduates to maintain the values they've learned at the Naval Academy in their future roles as leaders in the military, community and business. "Our nation needs them now more than ever," he said. "We need your honor, that inner compass that guides you not when the path is easy and obvious but when it's hard and uncertain."
This is the Naval Academy's 163rd traditional graduation ceremony. Since it was established in 1845, the academy has graduated approximately 79,900 midshipmen including this year's graduates.