President Trump will deliver the commencement address at the Air Force Academy’s graduation ceremony May 30.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Trump’s plans Thursday at the White House. The academy said the Thunderbirds are also scheduled to perform a flyover at the graduation.
It will be Trump’s first time speaking at the academy’s graduation ceremony, which will be held at Falcon Stadium. Trump addressed the Coast Guard’s graduation in 2017, and spoke at the Naval Academy’s graduation last year.
Graduation speakers at the Air Force Academy typically rotate among the president, the vice president, the secretary of defense and the secretary of the Air Force, although Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed the graduating class in 2017. Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis addressed the academy’s Class of 2018 graduation, and then-President Obama delivered the commencement speech in 2016.
Graduation week will begin May 24, and consist of receptions, award ceremonies, baccalaureate services, concerts, parades, air demonstrations and commissioning ceremonies. Cadets from the academy’s Wings of Blue parachute team, glider team and powered flight aircraft program will put on their own aerial display on May 29.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.