Today, Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas delivered the following remarks to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Cadets of the graduating class of 2022:
Good afternoon. In all that we do, we have the opportunity to bring honor. We can bring honor to our colleagues, to the institutions of which we are a part, to our families and communities, and to those who came before us and in whose memory we serve.
Allow me to take a moment to recognize Karl Schultz, your Commandant – our Commandant. Thank you, Admiral Schultz, for your distinguished leadership, for the honor you bring to the Coast Guard and to our Department, for the 39 years of service you have given to our nation.
In a few weeks, just two, we will reflect upon your nearly four decades as an officer. Today, we welcome the newest officers of the United States Coast Guard. Their service, and the service of Coasties throughout the years to follow, will be a tribute to your contributions and will build upon your extraordinary legacy.
Graduates in your last minutes as cadets, we celebrate your achievement earned through your love of country and four years of dedication. You challenged your strength on Cadet Memorial Field and in the Thames; stretched your intellect in Satterly and Macalester Halls; and tested your mettle at sea in your summer assignments.
Now as commissioned officers, you will bring honor to the nearly 232 years of history that have made our Coast Guard the proud, noble military service that it is.
That history was built by Coasties who sail through breaking waves to keep America safe and those who flew through hurricanes to execute our missions. We cannot leave out the pilots. You are all a part of the long blue line.
Each of you has the opportunity – in fact, the responsibility – to build a better Coast Guard, for the classmates beside you, for the family behind you, and for the Coasties whom you will lead.
You are new leaders. You will lead with honor, and honor will be the reward for what you give.
I have been granted the greatest honor of my life: to serve in the cabinet of President Biden and Vice President Harris; to help execute their vision for America of all that we can be and for the world.
Their leadership is defined by honor, and it is defined by their respect for the dignity of every individual. Honor and dignity: let these be the touchstones of our leadership too.
We understand the sacrifices you and your loved ones make in the pursuit of military service. We also understand the pride that comes from that service.
Semper Paratus, Class of 2022. I salute you.
I am now about to introduce someone very special.
You might think that her walk from her chair to this lectern is about 10 feet. It is not. It is the walk of a lifetime of service – of devotion to community, protection of a city, guardian of a state, and service to country.
It is my honor to welcome the Vice President of the United States of America: our Vice President Kamala Harris.