Biden tells US Air Force Academy graduates their leadership is needed in an increasingly confusing world

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday thanked U.S. Air Force Academy graduates for choosing “service over self,” but said they now have the “great privilege” of leading in a world that will only become more confusing in the years to come.

“You graduates have made the noble choice to live a life of service,” Biden told more than 900 cadets during remarks on the sunny field of Falcon Stadium in Colorado. “Now you also take on a great privilege and a great responsibility. Leadership, yeah leadership.

“In the years to come, your Airmen and Guardians will look to you for guidance and inspiration as the world becomes more confusing,” he added. “They will trust you. You, in turn, must strive to always be worthy of their trust.

Biden said they will need the qualities of resilience, creativity, endurance and commitment they learned during their four years of training at the academy – learning that has been interrupted by the pandemic. of COVID-19 – to face a range of global challenges. He said it ranged from Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and America’s rivalry with China “to a whole bunch of things in between.”

He also cited the threat of climate change and the growing use of artificial intelligence.

“Never forget the sacred oath you take, and the mission you serve is something far, far greater than any person or president,” Biden said. “This is our Constitution, this is our country and these are our enduring American values.”

More than 900 academy graduates will go on to become second lieutenants in the Air Force or Space Force. Biden said it was the most diverse in the academy’s history and he called on graduates to “eradicate the scourge of sexual assault and harassment in the military.”

The ceremony was to be capped off with an aerial salute to the graduates by the US Air Force’s world-renowned aerial demonstration squadron, the Thunderbirds, flying over Falcon Stadium. Biden met with some of the pilots on Wednesday after arriving at Peterson Space Force Base.

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