Congratulations Class of 2012!
On Tuesday, 29 May 2012, the Class of 2012, 1099 midshipmen in all, marched onto the field at Navy-Marine Corps stadium for the 162nd traditional graduation ceremony. The Blue Angels, in six F/A-18 Hornets, performed their traditional "flyover" to kick off the event.
The top graduates included: Sam Tan Wei Shen, of the Republic of Singapore, who is the first foreign national to graduate top of his class; David P. Baxter of Leesburg, VA; and, Colin E. Nevins of Bridgeport, CT.
The Call to Honors was given by Captain Robert E. Clark II, USN, Commandant of Midshipmen. The USNA Glee Club accompanied by the USNA Band sang the National Anthem. The invocation was given by CAPT Michael Parisi, CHC, USN, Command Chaplain.
VADM Michael H. Miller, Superintendent and The Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy made remarks and introduced the keynote speaker, The Honorable Leon E. Panetta, Secretary of Defense.
The conferral of degrees was done by VADM Miller and Dr. Andrew T. Phillips, Academic Dean and Provost; who recognized the Class of 1962 and the distinguished members who would be presenting a special gift to their 50 year counterpart.
Of the 1099, 224 were sworn in as 2nd Lieutenants for the U.S. Marine Corps and 810 were sworn is as Ensigns into the U.S. Navy; one sworn in as a 2nd Lieutenant for the Air Force and one sworn in as an Ensign in the Coast Guard. Administering the oath of office for the Marine Corps was General James F. Amos, USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps. Administering the oath of office for the Navy was Admiral Jonathan Greenert, USN, Chief of Naval Operations. One midshipman was commissioned into the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant. Additionally, six graduated but not commissioned and fourteen foreign officers.
Dr. Phillip gave the recognition of Academic Achievement. Members of the Class of 1962 were on hand to present each graduating midshipmen with their first set of gold Ensign (Navy) or 2nd Lieutenant (Marine Corps) insignia bars.
Second Lieutenant Ian Cameron, USMC, president of the Class of 2012 stepped up to the podium and asked Mr. Panetta to join him. Cameron presented him with a special gift - a USNA jogging suit, on behalf of the class.
He also recognized three individuals as honorary graduates: Lt. Cmdr. Seth Phillips, Chaplain Corps, USN; Greg Klima, Bancroft Hall custodian; MIDN Frederick H. Eissler (In Memoriam) and Col. John W. Ripley, USMC (Ret.) (In Memoriam). He took a moment to address his class and reflect on their past four years and the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Everyone was invited to join in the singing of Navy Blue and Gold.
CAPT Clark introduced MIDN 2/C John-Rex Spivey, USN, president of the Class of 2013. Spivey asked for members of the Class of 2013, 2014 and 2015 to stand and requested three cheers "for those about to leave us". Second Lieutenant Cameron, returned to the stage and requested three cheers "for those they leave behind". On the third cheer, the Class of 2012 tossed their hats into the air.
The traditional "hat toss", signals the completion to the graduation and commissioning ceremonies at all of the service academies. Originated at the Naval Academy in 1912, this tradition reaches a 100 year milestone at this year's ceremony. This along with the cannon salute is a symbolic end to the four-year program at Annapolis.