The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(NEW LONDON, Conn.) — The U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduated 240 newly commissioned officers May 22, including 34 Asian American graduates which is the highest number in academy history.
The cadets, graduating with bachelor of science degrees and commissions as Coast Guard officers, will serve as leaders in a variety of roles in units across the nation. U.S. National Security Adviser Ambassador John R. Bolton served as the guest speaker for the event.
“Soon, with the help of the new polar security cutter, the Coast Guard will lead the way in asserting American leadership in the Arctic,” Bolton said. “Armed with these new and innovative tools, the Coast Guard will enable a year-round persistent U.S presence in the polar regions.”
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz addressed the graduating class.
“Take a moment. Breathe in, and savor this achievement!” Schultz said.
This is the first time Schultz has returned to attend a commencement since he graduated alongside the superintendent Rear Adm. James E. Rendon in 1983.
Ensign Colton Atkinson from Marietta, Ga., was named the distinguished graduate, an award given to the graduate with the highest military precedence average, which includes the academic, military and physical components of the entire 200-week program.
“We learned that only by coming together and caring about the success of others, would we be able to succeed ourselves.” Atkinson said.
The Class of 2019 included four international students from the country of Georgia, Honduras and Malaysia.
Their class motto is Mare Vocat Fortes, which means “The sea calls the brave.”