An estimated 30,000 people filled the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, May 22 to witness the swearing in of the U.S. Navy's and Marine Corps' newest officers.
The Naval Academy Class of 2015 graduated 1,070 men and women, including 790 Navy ensigns and 264 Marine Corps second lieutenants.
Graduating first in the class is Ensign Michael K. Johnson, an electrical engineering major who will serve as a submarine officer after finishing a master's degree in computer science at Stanford University.
The class included 11 foreign exchange students from Bangladesh, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Maldives, Mexico, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Tunisia.
The ceremony recognized three honorary graduates, including Commandant of Midshipmen Capt. William D. Byrne Jr. The other honorary graduates were Dr. Jeffrey Fair, associate director of athletics for sports medicine and retired Capt. Douglas S. Borrebach, former supply officer for the Brigade of Midshipmen.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivered the commencement address, focusing on the global role of the U.S. Navy in establishing commerce, conducting humanitarian operations, and deterring conflict, particularly in the Asia-Pacific area of operations.
"Your presence matters," said Biden. "Pacific peace and prosperity has depended on and will continue to depend on U.S. naval power."
The continued "diplomatic and military supremacy" of the U.S. also depends on its naval forces, said Biden.
Biden called the graduating class "the real one percent who protect the other 99 percent" of the American people.
"We continue to count on you to protect world security," he said.
Biden encouraged the graduates to remember all they've learned during their four years at the Naval Academy.
"This place has given you bonds that will last your entire lifetime," said Biden. "There's no title you can more proudly bear than being an officer in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps."
This is the Naval Academy's 165th traditional graduation ceremony. Since it was established in 1845, the academy has graduated approximately 82,600 midshipmen including this year's graduates.