UPDATE: The 2013 scheduled for the Blue Angels has been released and they are scheduled to perform here on May 22, 2013!
With the roar of the mighty Blue Angels, the United States Naval Academy graduated 1099 young men and women into the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and officers into the homeland military of 14 foreign officers.
For the first time ever, a foreign officer was the top graduate. Sam Tan Wei Shen of Singapore is an honors ocean engineering major. The second top graduate is David Paul Baxter of Leesburg, VA is an honors naval architecture major who will train as a submariner. The third top graduate hails from Bridgeport, CT. Colin Edward Nevins is a chemistry major and will attend Harvard Medical School after graduation.
Today also marks an anniversary. It is the 100th anniversary of the traditional hat toss which began in June 1912. After the graduation and commissioning ceremony, the newly minted graduates toss their no longer needed midshipmen’s covers into the air.
Secretary of Defense, Leon E. Panetta addressed the class. He quipped about the unofficial West Point cheer, “maybe next year, maybe next year.” He called on his Italian heritage and made them on offer they could not refuse. He called for a untied “go navy” in order to grant amnesty to all midshipmen for minor discipline infractions. Panetta recalled the class make up including all fifty states, twelve countries, black, white, Latino, rich, poor, straight, gay.
The Blue Angels were a welcome sight to Annapolis and the squadron of FA/18 Hornets flew down from their scheduled Jones Beach Air Show for the flyover. The flight demonstration and flyover in 2011 was canceled due to a safety stand down. The demonstration for 2012 was canceled due to the former Superintendent, Vice Admiral Fowler’s decision to move graduation after Memorial Day. There has not been any official word for the 2013 schedule.
Here is a full gallery of photos from the ceremony. Please feel free to download and share as needed.