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