President Trump delivers commencement speech at AFA


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  • Sean Cayton

About three hours after tweeting heated remarks about Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his report, President Donald Trump addressed the United States Air Force Academy’s graduating class. He used the platform to pay his respects to the 991 graduates and the U.S. military in general, to promote his plan for a Space Force and to proclaim a battle cry.

For Trump, it was a remarkably traditional speech.

 “You are the ones who will secure American victory all the time,” Trump told the sold-out crowd, which included many his supporters. “To dominate the future, America must rule the skies, and that is what your time at this great academy has been all about.”

He continued, “[It’s] preparing you to do whatever it takes to learn, to adapt, and to win, win, win — to win so much, you’re going to get so tired of winning, but not really.” 

Members of the class laughed.

“We never get tired of winning, do we?” Trump asks. 

“NO!” the cadets roared.

Here’s some takeaways from the May 30th speech:

Trump hearts Space Force

In his speech, the president pushed for further U.S. militarization, specifically citing the need for a Space Force. Colorado is home to four of six finalist locations for U.S. Space Command, including three locations in Colorado Springs. The command, created in 2018, takes charge of all space operations in the military, and is already temporarily located at Peterson Air Force Base. It is a first step on the way to the president’s planned Space Force.

Trump told the graduate that Space Force was a needed response to the U.S.-China shadow space war. He told the crowd that a space force was his idea and boasted that many people were just now getting on board with the concept.

He added, “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.”

Trump said many countries have weaponized space with their technologies, which are capable of blinding satellites and disrupting communications. Trump noted, with pride, that the country had increased defense spending and hinted at new weapon development, saying America was developing weapons “the likes of which you’ve never seen, the likes of which you can’t even conceive.”

Offering a final remark on the Space Force, Trump said, “Hopefully, we never have to use it. Peace through strength.”

Trump congratulates cadets

Trump praised graduates for their work at the Academy, saying they have truly earned their wings.

He lavished praise on the graduates, and even noted that they were “a lot of good-looking people in this school.”

Trump called two graduates to the stage to congratulate them for their hard work while at the Academy. Nic Ready, who became the first graduate of a military academy to win the College Home Run Derby, and Parker Hammond, who battled cancer during his time at the Academy, briefly joined the president on the stage for a handshake.

After the cadets were seated, Trump returned to a favorite theme: the importance of winning. Addressing a commander who was on stage with him, he asked, “We are always ready, right general?”

“Yes,” the commander replied.

“I wonder how that’s going to be viewed — that statement tomorrow in the press. You can imagine, and that’s OK,” the president said. “Let them think whatever they want to think.”

Trump added that he faces strong opposition from many parties, “which I’ll always have.”

In conclusion

“The sound of American warplanes is the righteous sound of American justice,” Trump proclaimed to the crowd. “Nothing will stop you from victory. Nothing will stop the U.S. Air Force. And with your help, nothing will ever, ever stop the United States of America.”

Trump concluded his speech by congratulating the Class of 2019 once again. “God bless you,” he said. “God bless America and god bless the Air Force.”

Trump stayed for the ceremony to shake every graduating cadets’ hand. 


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