US Naval Academy Class of 2014 Graduation
The Naval Academy says that an estimated 30,000 people filled the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, to witness the swearing in of the U.S. military's newest officers.
The Naval Academy Class of 2014 graduated 1,068 men and women, including 784 Navy ensigns and 265 Marine Corps second lieutenants.
Graduating first in the class is Marine 2nd Lt. David F. Williams, of Roanoke, Virginia, a political science and economics major who will serve as a Marine ground officer after finishing a master's degree in Latin American studies at the University of Cambridge, England. The class included 12 foreign exchange students from Brunei, Ecuador, Georgia, Jamaica, Lebanon, Lithuania, Maldives, Panama, and Taiwan.
The ceremony recognized four honorary graduates, including the late Midshipmen Nicholas Tarr and Max Allen, members of the Class of 2014 who were killed in vehicle accidents. The other honorary graduates were Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Michael Miller, Vicky Owens, a member of the Commandant's staff, Vice President of the Annapolis Inn Alexander De Vivo, and President of the Annapolis Inn Joseph Lespier.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered the commencement address, offering the graduates suggestions for success from his own experiences as an enlisted Army infantryman and from his discussions with enlisted sailors and Marines.
"You must connect with people on a personal level," said Hagel. "With new technologies and social media making our relationships sometimes seem less relevant, it is more important than ever to be personally invested in your people and build relationships face-to-face. Get to know them. That earns respect."
This is the Naval Academy's 164th traditional graduation ceremony. Since it was established in 1845, the academy has graduated approximately 81,500 Midshipmen including this year's graduates.