the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

Search form

Vice President Biden at West Point

Summary: 
Vice President Biden tells the 2012 graduates of West Point that they are joining a proud tradition. Read the remarks.

Last weekend, Vice President Biden delivered the commencement address to the graduating seniors at U.S. Military Academy.

He told the Class of 2012 that they are joining a proud tradition:

West Point has prepared you to lead us to face these new challenges, some of which we have yet to even contemplate, let alone encounter.  Because as I said at the start, you are not only strong and committed, you are also some of our nation’s sharpest minds, with the training to take today’s missions -- counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, training foreign armies -- and the minds to adapt to tomorrow’s horizons, from cyberspace to outer space.

There is such a proud history here. Such a proud tradition. And I have no doubt that many of you in this class are not only going to make extraordinary contributions to the military but also to civilian life because West Point is in the business of producing -- not only great officers –- it produces great leaders and great Americans.

As President Theodore Roosevelt said, upon West Point’s Centennial, 110 years ago next month, he said: “Your duty here at West Point has been to fit men to do well in war.  But it is a noteworthy fact that you also have fitted them to do singularly well in peace. The highest positions in the land have been held, not exceptionally, but again and again by West Pointers.” West Pointers who have risen to the first rank in all occupations of civilian life.

Were he here today he’d only alter that quote slightly –- young men and women are prepared to do that. 

Read the Vice President's full remarks here.