United States Coast Guard Academy
New London, Connecticut

11:46 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Mr. Secretary, thank you.  Hello, Coast Guard Academy.  I tell you what — we’re going to speak for about four hours to see if those white uniforms last longer to keep the heat away than these poor guys in their graduation gowns here.  God, love you.  I thought I was hot in a blue suit.  (Laughter.)

Governor Lamont, it’s good to see you, man.  You’ve been a good friend a long time. 

And I understand the senior senator from this state for a long time, Chris Dodd, is here.  I don’t know where you’re — I don’t — I don’t think you’re in the class, Chris.  But you’re one of the — where is he?  Chris, welcome, pal — one of the finest men I’ve ever served with in my whole career. 

And Mayor — Mayor Passero, I — I want to thank you for being here.  Thanks for the passport into town.

And I want to thank, again, the Secretary Mayorkas for joining me today as well.  He understands — he understands well how vital the Coast Guard is to our economic, our environmental, and national security, and how central you are to our Homeland Security mission.

Admiral Schultz, congratulations on a — an outstanding new corps of officers.

This past year, there can be no doubt the Class of ‘21 is ready for whatever its mission may be. 

I know this day is doubly important to the Admiral because he’s not only the Commandant of the Coast Guard — well, let me say it another way: In 2013, I think, I gave the commencement here, and I was pointing out how the Coast Guard was adapting so rapidly to changing conditions.  And I said, “This is not your father’s Coast Guard.”  I take that back.  (Laughter.)  First-Class Eric Schultz, this is your father’s Coast Guard.  (Laughter and applause.) 

And I know it probably embarrasses you to be — to point you out and say that, but I had a son in the United States military.  He was very proud.  He was a major in the U.S. Army.  He won the Bronze star.  I guess — anyway, when he went to Iraq for a year, he had the — he got the general to agree to change his name from “Biden” to “Hunter,” his mother’s maiden name, because he didn’t want to be viewed as having getting any favor — have gotten any favors.

Admiral Kelly, I want to thank to you and the entire staff of the Academy for your commitment to training the next generation of leaders. 

And I brought with me a former Academy grad, who now serves as my Coast Guard Mil Aide, Lieutenant Commander Jayna — now, I’m going to embarrass her — Jayna McCarron, of the Class of 2007.  As we were coming in on Marine One, I thought she was going to light up like a candle.  She’s so

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island had its first visit by a sitting president in more than six years on Wednesday, but the commander-in-chief didn’t spend much time in the Ocean State.

After departing from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, Air Force One landed at Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown around 9:45 a.m.

President Biden then left for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, where he gave a speech at the academy’s commencement ceremony.

Following the ceremony, Biden returned to Rhode Island and boarded Air Force One to return to Washington. He made no unscheduled stops on the trip.

Gov. Dan McKee, a Democrat who was one of Biden’s earliest supporters in Rhode Island, was one of three local officials who welcomed the president on the tarmac at the airport, according to a pool report. The governor was joined by Rhode Island National Guard Commanding Gen. Christopher Callahan and 143rd Airlift Wing Commander Col. Adam Wiggins.

Story continues below gallery.

  • Joe Biden

Biden last addressed a graduating class at the Academy as vice-president in 2013.

NEW LONDON, Conn. — President Joe Biden will be delivering the keynote commencement address this morning to the Coast Guard Academy in New London.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and will not be opened to the public.

Despite Connecticut lifting COVID-19 restrictions today, crowd size will be limited and mask-wearing will be required. The event will be available for viewing on the FOX61 News app or at: https://uscga.live/commencement2021

Live updates

“Class of 2021, it is time for you to go out and be the future, to make the future.”

PHOTO GALLERY: U.S. Coast Guard Academy hosts 140th commencement

Cadet First Class Sean Edward Seyller gives cadet commencement address

Cadet First Class Sean Edward Seyller said his class may not have all the answers.

“But we have the passion, courage, perseverance to find them,” Seyller said, before ending his address: “Go class of ’21 and go Bears.”

Lieutenant Commander Kimberly Cain addresses graduates

Ceremony begins for the 140th graduating class of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. 

Biden lands at U.S. Coast Guard Academy

FOX61’s Lauren Zenzie caught Marine One about to land at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London.

Biden lands in Rhode Island, will head to New London for the USCGA graduation

Protesters gather ahead of Biden’s visit

Protesters concerned over the Israeli-Palestine conflict have gathered at McKinley Park across the street from the Coast Guard Academy ahead of Biden’s visit.

New London Mayor Mike Passero discusses the president’s visit 

“We are really proud to be a Coast Guard city, and it reflects that relationship between the community and institution,” said Passero, “The cadets have a special bond with the city, they volunteer in our community and schools, and we really share in a rich history with the Coast Guard. The relationship goes back to the founding of this country.”

Biden boards Air Force One from Joint Base Andrews en route to Connecticut

Biden will land at North Kingstown, Rhode Island before heading to New London for commencement. 

Flag raised at U.S. Coast Guard Academy ahead of the commencement ceremony

Eric Russell, Connecticut Democratic Party Chairman, discusses the visit

Russell spoke to Tim Lammers and Erika Arias on FOX61 Morning News regarding Biden’s visit. 

It’s exciting to have him here,” said Eric Russell, Chairman of the Connecticut Democratic Party, “He’s shown and continues to show that he’s the leader we need in this moment. He’s been really aggressive with combating the pandemic and allowing access to vaccinations allowing people to get back to work. Happy to have him here.”

The FOX61 Morning News team is keeping you up to date on the latest! 

May 19 (UPI) — President Joe Biden left the White House on Wednesday to travel to Connecticut, where he will give his first Armed Forces commencement address as commander in chief at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Biden is scheduled to deliver the keynote address to graduates at the academy in New London, Conn., at 11:30 a.m. EDT.

“We are honored to host the commander-in-chief as we celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2021 — the future leaders of the U.S. Coast Guard,” Academy Superintendent Rear Adm. Bill Kelly said in a statement.

“It will be a memorable event for our community, as well as a great opportunity to showcase the Academy and the city of New London on a national stage.”

Former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama each gave speeches at the academy’s graduation ceremonies and Biden addressed the commencement there in 2013 when he was vice president.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden plans to speak about the role the Coast Guard has played in the nation’s economic and national security, and note his commitment to rebuilding the branch.

The graduation will be held outdoors at Cadet Memorial Field. It is closed to the public.

Presidents, vice presidents and top Pentagon officials deliver commencement speeches at the U.S. military academies on a rotating schedule. Vice President Kamala Harris will speak at the U.S. Naval Academy commencement on May 28 and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley will speak at the Air Force Academy graduation on the same day. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will speak at the Military Academy’s commencement on Saturday in West Point, N.Y.

According to The Day newspaper, the president will deliver the keynote address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduation in New London, Conn., on May 19

NEW LONDON, Conn. — President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Connecticut later this month, the White House announced Monday.

Biden will travel to New London, Conn., on Wednesday, May 19, according to a release from the White House. Details of the trip have not yet been released. 

The Day, a New London newspaper, reported Monday that the president will speak at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduation on May 19. He will deliver the keynote address, the Coast Guard Academy said in a release. 

Biden previously spoke at the academy’s graduation in 2013, when he was vice president.

In a release, academy Superintendent Rear Adm. Bill Kelly said they are honored to host the president to celebrate the Class of 2021. 

“It will be a memorable event for our community, as well as a great opportunity to showcase the Academy and the city of New London on a national stage,” Kelly said.

The president, first lady, and other Biden administration officials are touring the country as part of the “Getting America Back on Track Tour,” which seeks to highlight how Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan will benefit schools, according to the White House. 

On April 24, Vice President Kamala Harris visited New Hampshire to highlight the American Jobs Plan.