WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Four years ago, the members of the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 2018 chose the path of honor, courage and commitment to serve the nation and defend the American flag, President Donald J. Trump said during his graduation address in Annapolis, Maryland, May 25.
The class of 1,042 students also received their commissions today as ensigns in the Navy or as second lieutenants in the Marine Corps.
"You have earned your place in that ancient league of Sailors and shipmates, captains and commanders, warriors and mariners, and Marines," the president said. "America is in your heart, the ocean is in your soul and the salt water runs through your veins. The word 'impossible' does not exist."
The graduating class now comprises military leaders in the most powerful force on the face of the planet - the United States military, the president said.
Each new officer inherits the legacies of the Navy heroes who came before them, Trump said, from a living history passed down from generation to generation. "Each of you will make your own mark on the Navy, the Marine Corps, the military and the history of our great nation," he said.
Among the Navy and Marine Corps graduates today will be 283 aviators, 134 submariners, 256 surface warfare officers, 70 restricted line officers and 15 explosive ordnance disposal officers. The class also includes 236 U.S. Marines and 35 well-conditioned Navy SEALs, Trump noted.
The U.S. military is sharpening the fighting edge of everything, from Marine infantry squads to combat ships to deliver the maximum lethal force, the president said. "The enemy has to know we have that, and we are recommitting to this fundamental truth: we are a maritime nation," he added.
"And being a maritime nation, we're surrounded by sea. We must always dominate that sea, we will always dominate the oceans. We are showing what we can achieve when natural American confidence is backed by unrivaled American power and unquestioned American resolve," the president said.
Tip of the Spear
"Together, you are the tip of the spear, the edge of the blade, and the front of the shield defending and protecting our great country," Trump told the class. "You know, there is no mission our pilots can't handle. There is no hill our Marines can't take, and there is no stronghold the SEALs can't breech. There is no sea the Navy can't brave, and there is no storm the American sailor can't conquer, because you know that together there is nothing Americans can't do. Absolutely nothing."
America has the greatest fighting force for peace, justice and freedom in the history of the world, the president said.
More Ships Coming
With an end to the sequestration spending cuts of recent years, Trump said, the next two years promise higher defense budgets. "And we are going to be stronger than ever before. We will have the strongest military that we've ever had," he said.
"We have now the lowest number of ships that we've had since World War I, and very soon, you're going to be up to 355 beautiful ships," Trump said.
The president urged the graduating class to keep moving forward. "To the Class of 2018, I say strive for excellence, live for adventure, think big, dream bigger, push further, sail faster, fly higher and never, ever stop reaching for greatness; never stop reaching for the stars," he said.
"You know you are up to the task. You're among the finest people anywhere in the world - the smartest, the strongest," the president said. "You know you will make us proud. We know that glory will be yours, because you are winners, you are warriors, you are fighters, you are champions and you will lead us only to victory."