President Trump will speak at the 2019 Air Force Academy graduation on May 30.
The president bumps Vice-President Mike Pence from the speaking duties, following up his 2018 Naval Academy speech. In 2017, Trump spoke to the graduating class at the Coast Guard Academy as well.
Graduation week begins on May 24, culminating in the presidents speech at the ceremony. In addition, Air Force Thunderbirds are expected to fly overhead after the ceremony, which will be held at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, CO. Around 1,000 graduates will receive the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
President Trump loves the military
White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, announced the speaker change, saying, “The president loves our military.”
The ceremony draws as many as 30,000 spectators when the president speaks. There is a rotation in speakers including the president, vice-president, secretary of defense, and secretary of the service. Last year, former Sec. of Defense, Jim Mattis, was the speaker.
In last year’s commencement address at the Naval Academy in Maryland last, President Trump told the graduating midshipmen that America’s military power makes the nation a global force for good.
“We know the truth, will speak the truth, and defend that truth,” Trump said in that May 25 speech. “America is the greatest fighting force for peace, justice, and freedom in the history of the world.”
Colorado Springs is home to the bulk of the military’s space troops and is in the running to house the new U.S. Space Command, which would be in command of all military efforts in space.
President Trump’s enthusiasm for space and space travel is reminiscent of former President Reagan. Military leaders have praised his increases in the space budgets, but lawmakers have yet to sign off on making space a separate military service, with some leading Democrats voicing opposition.
The president is expected to reiterate his support for the military. “I want to thank the midshipmen and your families, and thank you,” he said. “America thanks you more than anybody. You have done a spectacular job. Thank you very much.”