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Defense Secretary Delivers Naval Academy Commencement Address

Annapolis, Md.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delivered this year’s commencement address to Naval Academy graduates in Annapolis, Maryland. Panetta said that one of the greatest challenges they’ll face while serving this nation is America’s stance in the Asia Pacific. He added that the United States’ future and prosperity are tied to our ability to advance peace and security in this region.

The U.S. Naval Academy handed out degrees and commissioned more than a thousand graduates Tuesday.

Panetta also spoke at the University of Maryland in 2009 while serving as the head of the CIA.

President Obama noted at the graduation ceremony for the U.S. Air Force Academy last week that this was the first graduating class of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen following the end of combat operations in Iraq.

"You are the first graduates since 9/11 who can clearly see how we’ll end the war in Afghanistan," he told the graduates in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Vice President Biden delivered the commencement address to Army graduates at West Point on Saturday.

Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 12:37pm (ET)

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Washington Journal (late 2012)