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Grad Week Commentary: Athletic director encourages Class of 2019 to look back on an ‘incredible journey’

(U.S. Air Force photo/Darcie Ibidapo)

Nathan Pine, U.S. Air Force Academy director of athletics, May 30, 2019

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Air Force athletics would like to congratulate the class of 2019 on the impressive accomplishment of graduating from the Academy. This long four-year journey started when you committed to be different, to selflessly serve your country and become part of something bigger than yourselves.

As you prepare to join the Long Blue Line, take a few minutes to look back at your incredible journey. From Basic Cadet Training through your commissioning ceremonies, think of how you have grown through the struggles and how you stand at graduation as a polished, confident, leader of character for our Air Force and the nation. You should be very proud!

Congratulations to the families, friends and mentors of our graduates. You played a key role in helping your graduate through this demanding four-year path. You enabled them to succeed with your undying support. They will be the first to tell you that nobody can do this alone.

Congratulations as well to all at the Academy. This three-pronged educational approach of academics, athletics and military training couldn’t be successful without everyone working together to provide the best experience for our cadets. The personnel that makes up this leadership trio looked out for the well-being of our cadets, nurtured their character development and motivated them to reach the highest standard in everything they did. Well done, USAFA!

The class of 2019 is no doubt ready to tackle the next phase of your life in service to our country. You are battle-field ready and have proven that you are ready to face whatever challenges are thrown at you. You will lead and be led by some remarkable people and you all have one thing in common, you’re committed to serving our great nation.

So, off you go into the “Wild Blue Yonder,” taking with you lessons learned in the class room, on the fields of friendly strife and in military training. Serve this great nation with confidence, passion and pride and please remember to always reach back for support from your Academy family.

Congratulations class of 2019!