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President Joe Biden to speak at 2022 Naval Academy graduation and commissioning ceremony; Blue Angels will perform

President Joe Biden will deliver the keynote speech during the U.S. Naval Academy graduation and commissioning ceremony next month, the academy announced.

Biden is scheduled to address the Class of 2022 at 10 a.m. May 27 at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

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The graduation and commissioning ceremony is not open to the public, but invited family, friends and guests can attend. It will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube.

About 1,100 midshipmen are in the 2022 graduating class, said Alana Garas, an academy spokesperson. Most will be commissioned as officers in the Navy or Marine Corps.

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The graduate and faculty procession will begin at 9 a.m. with the ceremony starting at 10 a.m., according to the academy’s Commissioning Week schedule. The Blue Angels are scheduled for a flyover at 10:04 a.m. The flight demonstration squadron will be practicing and performing on the days leading up to the ceremony.

The swearing-in ceremony will follow immediately after the graduation ceremony.

The event will cap a packed schedule of Commissioning Week events, which kick off May 20, including awards ceremonies, concerts, a ring dance and other festivities.

On May 23, the Class of 2025 will participate in the Herndon Climb, which culminates plebe, or freshman, year at the academy.

The long-running tradition of plebes working together to scale a greased obelisk to remove a “dixie cup” hat from the pinnacle made its return last year after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That year’s plebe class, the Class of 2023, was finally able to participate in the event in August when COVID restrictions on The Yard were loosened.

This will be Biden’s first visit to the academy as president. He last visited in 2018 when he accepted the Naval Academy Alumni Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award on behalf of U.S. Sen. John McCain. As vice president, Biden gave the graduation keynote speech in 2015 and 2010.

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at the ceremony last year. The keynote typically rotates between the vice president, president and the secretary of defense. In 2020, then Secretary of Defense Mark Esper gave the keynote speech at the commissioning, which was held virtually.


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