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Commencement 2019

by PA3 Matthew Thieme
U.S. Coast Guard Academy

May 24, 2019

Class of 2019NEW LONDON, Conn. -- The U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduated 240 newly commissioned officers May 22, including 34 Asian American graduates which is the highest number in Academy history.

The cadets, graduating with Bachelor of Science degrees and commissions as Coast Guard officers, will serve as leaders in a variety of roles in units across the nation. U.S. National Security Advisor Ambassador John R. Bolton served as the guest speaker for the event.

“Soon, with the help of the new polar security cutter, the Coast Guard will lead the way in asserting American leadership in the arctic.” Bolton said. “Armed with these new and innovative tools, the Coast Guard will enable a year round persistent U.S presence in the polar regions.”

Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz addressed the graduating class.

“Take a moment. Breathe in, and savor this achievement!” Schultz said.

APAC Admiral Schultz stands with the largest group of CGA Asian American graduates from the Class of 2019.(Photo by Brad Clift)

This is the first time Schultz has returned to attend a Commencement since he graduated alongside the superintendent Rear Admiral James E. Rendón in 1983.

Ensign Colton Atkinson from Marietta, Georgia, was named the Distinguished Graduate, an award given to the graduate with the highest military precedence average, which includes the academic, military and physical components of the entire 200-week program.

“We learned that only by coming together and caring about the success of others, would we be able to succeed ourselves.” Atkinson said.

The Class of 2019 included four international students from the country of Georgia, Honduras and Malaysia.

Their class motto is Mare Vocat Fortes, which means “The sea calls the brave.”