ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — It’s the end of a four year chapter for 1,000 Naval Academy midshipmen. They’re now commissioned officers with a personal presidential sendoff.

Christie Ileto reports–the class of 2013 is officially dismissed.

A thousand midshipmen at the Naval Academy are officially commissioned officers with a presidential stamp of approval.

Friday marks the end of a lifelong journey for Naval Academy’s class of 2013. But when the commander-in-chief of the United States gives you your diploma, it’s a day to remember.

“It pretty much like stars in my eyes. I’m shaking Mr. Obama’s hand,” said Hanna Yun.

For a pair of Maryland natives, it’s a lifelong dream come true.

“I’ve been waiting for this day for about 13 or 14 years,” said Rebecca Watson.

“I’m incredibly excited. It’s just as special for me as it is for my family,” said Danny Quinn.

President Obama urged grads to follow their moral compass, in both missions and in life, and also touched on politics happening inside the Beltway.

“As your commander-in-chief, I’m going to keep fighting to give you the equipment and support required to meet the missions we ask of you,” the president said.

The president’s speech comes in advance of the 2014 Afghanistan troop exit and controversial sequester that is forcing government-wide budget cuts, some of which affect those attending the academy.

“As long as he tells me it’s going to be okay, I’m going to be okay,” said Terrie Williams.

“We don’t know what part of the world we’ll be fighting in, so just encouragement to keep us pushing forward and to get excited for what we’re about to embark on,” said Rebecca Watson.

Inspirational words and a presidential pat on the back. Job well done, class of 2013. You’re officially dismissed.

Many of these young men and women will be stationed all around the world, serving our country for the next five years.

This is the president’s second time speaking to a graduating class at the Naval Academy. The first time was in 2009, months after he defeated Naval Academy grad, Senator John McCain.


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