Pence gives speech to naval academy

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Vice President Mike Pence addressed cheering graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2017 on Friday. He assured the soon-to-be-commissioned officers that their commander in chief is dedicated to providing the resources they need “to lead and fight and win any contest, any struggle, anywhere on behalf of freedom.”

“Let me be clear, the era of budget cuts of the armed forces of the United States is over,” Pence announced, adding, “No matter where you’re called to serve, no matter what the mission, this commander-in-chief will always have your back.”

Pence’s son Michael is an officer in the Marines, and as he spoke, he acknowledged the parents standing in the bleachers of Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.

“And to the families who are gathered here today and all these rising officers, I say President Donald Trump and I will not rest, we will not relent until we rebuild our military, restore the arsenal of democracy and ensure that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guard have all the resources that you need to accomplish your mission and come home safe,” he told them.

Pence referred to Trump’s “America First” budget proposal, stating, “Earlier this month, President Trump signed a $21 billion increase in funding for our armed forces, the largest investment in military readiness in nearly a decade. And earlier this week, in his very first budget, your commander in chief laid out one of the largest increases in defense spending since the days of President Ronald Reagan.”

Pence explained to the newly-minted military leaders that peace lies in strength. “President Trump is working with the Congress to make the strongest fighting force in history stronger still, and with renewed American strength your commander in chief is once again reaffirming America’s role as leader of the free world,” he said.

According to the academy, out of the 1,053 graduates, “769 will be commissioned as Navy ensigns, and 259 will be commissioned as 2nd lieutenants in the Marines. 242 are female.”

Pence noted, “And as you prepare to assume your duties, I want to say to new officers and to your families, President Donald Trump is the best friend the armed forces of the United States will ever have.”

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