Biden's message to West Point graduates: You're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Graduates attend the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — President Joe Biden on Saturday told graduates of the U.S. Military Academy that their class is being called upon to tackle threats across the globe and preserve the country's ideals at home “like none before.”

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

President Joe Biden walks to speak to graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Biden said the phrase, the class motto, was apt for the sorts of challenges they will take as newly minted Army second lieutenants, from supporting Ukraine's defense against Russia's invasion to facilitating humanitarian assistance into Gaza and defending Israel from attacks by Iran.

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

President Joe Biden speaks to graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“There’s never been a time in history when we’ve asked our military to do so many different things in some many different places around the world, all at the same time,” Biden said.

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Biden

Speaking at sun-swept West Point, Biden reaffirmed that he will not allow American service members on the battlefield in Ukraine, but said their work to equip and train Ukrainian forces has “stepped up and stopped” Russian President Vladimir Putin's “brazen vision” for Europe. Biden praised U.S. forces for helping Israel repel a massive drone and ballistic missile attack last month from Iran and working to deescalate the conflict.

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

President Joe Biden, right, and Lt. General Steven W. Gilland, Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, stand during the playing of the national anthem at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Speaking before the graduating cadets took the their commissioning oaths, Biden reminded them that they were swearing fidelity not to a person or political party, but to the Constitution. As other speakers alluded to partisan rancor and political division across the nation, Biden said, “Hold fast to your values that you learned here at West Point."

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Biden

“Ideas need defenders to make them real," Biden said. "That’s what you are all about. You must keep us free at this time like none before.”

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Graduating cadets walk to the stage to accept a diploma presented by President Joe Biden at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Biden highlighted that rates of sexual assault and harassment in the military declined for the first time last year in a decade, calling it “long past time,” but said even more work was necessary.

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Biden

The president stood for more than an hour returning a salute from and shaking the hands of each graduate. Biden, as is customary, also absolved cadets of minor offenses committed during their time at the academy, adding with a laugh, “the superintendent can clarify what minor means.”

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

President Joe Biden arrives to the graduation ceremony of the U.S. Military Academy class of 2024 at Michie Stadium on Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Graduating cadets stand during the singing of "The Corps" after President Joe Biden spoke to graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

President Joe Biden, right, and Lt. General Steven W. Gilland, Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, attend the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Biden

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

The U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony is reflected on the uniform of a graduating cadet, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

President Joe Biden, right, is greeted by Lt. General Steve Gillard, left, Superintendent at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

President Joe Biden walks to speak to graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Biden

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Biden

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Biden

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Graduating cadets stand during the playing of the national anthem at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

President Joe Biden speaks to graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

A graduating cadet, right, presents a class gift to President Joe Biden at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Graduating cadets listen as President Joe Biden speaks at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

President Joe Biden speaks to graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Graduating cadets listen as President Joe Biden speaks at the U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Biden

biden's message to west point graduates: you're being asked to tackle threats 'like none before'

Biden

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