ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—It’s the finale of four years of hard work. Hundreds of midshipmen at the Naval Academy became commissioned officers.

Monique Griego has more from the ceremony that also welcomed back the Blue Angels.

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For the graduates, Friday’s ceremony marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another.

After a four-year absence, the Blue Angels once again take flight over Annapolis.

Just below, more than 1,000 U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen are one step closer towards spreading their wings as well.

“I’m excited. It’s been a long four years, but at the same time we’ve all grown a lot,” said Caitlin Olsen, graduate.

It took four years of hard work and dedication for graduates to reach this point. Now they can sit with and reflect on their journey with friends that have become like family.

“We spend every minute of every waking day together. We really know each other,” said Mario Avila, 2014 graduate.

For them and their supporters, this day brings mixed emotions.

“It’s going to be so rewarding to take what we’ve learned and apply it. That’s what this all symbolizes is moving on,” said Connor Geer, 2014 graduate.

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“It’s emotional. You’re happy that they’re graduating, but you know I’m sad that he’s going to be leaving,” said Tracey Miller, parent.

“We’re looking forward to the next stage of his life,” said Merlin Miller, parent.

Leaving the academy as commissioned officers, these Midshipmen are just beginning their military careers.

But before they go, there’s just one last thing to do. Toss their hats.

“It’s a release of all the heartache and struggle, and it’s a good feeling,” said Gabriel Acevedo.

“It’s just the final hooray and from then on out we’re officers, and it’s a whole new journey,” said Caitlin Olsen, graduate.

After leaving their hats behind, graduates will head to training and began service, which can be anywhere in the world.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered the commencement address.

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