COLORADO SPRINGS — On Friday, it was announced that the 28th Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin III, will be the commencement speaker for the U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 2022 Graduation Ceremony on May 25, 2022.
Secretary Austin is considered to be the "principal assistant to the President in all matters relating to the Department of Defense and serves on the National Security Council."
Secretary Austin was born in Mobile, Alabama, and raised in Georgia. Secretary Austin's military career spans 41 years. He graduated from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission in the Infantry. He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.
He was also awarded the Silver Star for his leadership of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Seven years later, he would assume the duties of Commanding General of United States Forces in Iraq. Secretary Austin ended his service as the Commander of
U.S. Central Command, responsible for all military operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
According to USAFA's website, commencement speakers rotate year-to-year between the President of the United States, Vice President, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of the Air Force.
Last year the commencement speaker was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley
The 2022 U.S. Air Force Academy Graduation is closed to the public for in-person attendance.
The ceremony is on May 25, 2022, and will be live-streamed.
USAFA Graduation Ceremony Schedule:
- 7:00 a.m.: Gates at Falcon Stadium Open
- 7:45 a.m. - 8:25 a.m.: Performances by some of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s elite clubs.
- Honor Guard begins at 7:45 a.m.
- The Cadet Chorale begins at 8:00 am
- The Sabre Drill Team begins at 8:20 a.m.
- The a cappella group, “In The Stairwell,” at 8:25 am.
- 9:30 a.m.: Ceremony begins, tickets will be required. Entry will not be allowed once the ceremony begins.
- Following the Graduation Ceremony, there will be a flyover by the Air Force’s aerial demonstration team, the Thunderbirds!
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