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Trump praises 'integrity,' 'devotion' of Air Force Academy graduates

By Danielle Haynes
Trump praises 'integrity,' 'devotion' of Air Force Academy graduates
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Thursday on the South Lawn of the White House, on his way to Colorado to speak at the Air Force Academy commencement. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

May 30 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump praised nearly 1,000 Air Force cadets for their "integrity, devotion and commitment" during their commencement ceremony Thursday in Colorado Springs.

It was Trump's first time speaking at the Air Force Academy's graduation ceremony. He gave remarks at the Naval Academy and Coast Guard's ceremonies in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

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The president touted a boost in spending in the Defense Department since he took office in 2017, including pay raises, and new weapons and planes.

"Hopefully we never have to use it," he said. "Peace through strength.

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"In this stadium today are many of the future leaders who will develop the doctrine, strategy and technology to restore America's legacy of leadership in space."

He praised the cadets for choosing the "harder path" and "higher calling" of entering the academy.

"America commends the integrity, devotion and commitment of the class of 2019," Trump said. "When you choose the Air Force, you choose the noble road of service and duty and devotion.

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"You are the ones who will invent and define the next generation of air warfare and you are the ones who will secure American victory all the time. To dominate the future, America must rule the skies."

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Heather Wilson also made her last public appearance as secretary of the Air Force at the graduation ceremony. She was the first Air Force secretary to graduate from the Air Force Academy and the was among the third class to include women in 1982.

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