West Point graduates throw their hats in the air as they celebrate graduation

West Point’s Class of 2022 threw their caps in the air as they celebrated their commencement and commissioning ceremony on Saturday.

More than 1,000 enthusiastic cadets took part in the traditional throw to mark the end of their four years at the most prestigious military academy in the United States, located in upstate New York.

During the graduation ceremony, Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, challenged the cadets to prepare to fight future wars that may bear little resemblance to the wars of today.

“The world in which you are mandated has the potential for significant international conflict between great powers. And that potential is increasing, not decreasing,” Milley told the cadets.

The cadets graduated in glorious sunshine as the northeast basked in one of the hottest May days on record, and the fine weather seemed to further boost the mood among the already enthusiastic graduates.

They were filmed lining up in neat rows in immaculate uniforms during the ceremony and speech, but were also filmed kissing with huge affection.

The cadets successfully completed the New York Academy courses and were commissioned second lieutenants in the army.

After graduation, cadets will be trained on Army planning, training and operations during the Basic Officer Leader Course.

They will then have to choose from more than 36 branch-specific majors before being sent to an army occupation unit for three years.

About 1,000 cheering cadets threw their hats in the air to mark the end of their four years at US Military Academy West Point

Class of 2022 cadets celebrate their graduation during commencement ceremonies at the U.S. Military Academy West Point, May 21

Class of 2022 cadets celebrate their graduation during commencement ceremonies at the U.S. Military Academy West Point, May 21

They were first trained in army planning, training and operations at the Basic Chief Officers Course

They were first trained in army planning, training and operations at the Basic Chief Officers Course

Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered the graduation speech to the 1,014 cadets of the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2022

Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered the graduation speech to the 1,014 cadets of the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2022

Milley painted a grim picture of a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, with major powers determined to change the world order.

He told cadets graduating from West Point that they will be responsible for making sure America is ready.

“Everything that we, the United States, have enjoyed militarily over the past 70 years is rapidly closing, and the United States will, in fact, we are already challenged in all areas of warfare, space, cyber, maritime, air and of course land,” Milley said.

America, he said, is no longer the undisputed world power.

Instead, it is being tested in Europe by Russian aggression in Ukraine, in Asia by China’s dramatic economic and military growth and North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, and in the Middle East and Africa by the instability of terrorists.

Milley painted a grim picture of a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, with major powers determined to change the world order

Milley painted a grim picture of a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, with major powers determined to change the world order

Cadet graduates at West Point will have responsibility for making sure America is ready, Milley said

Cadet graduates at West Point will have responsibility for making sure America is ready, Milley said

Drawing a parallel to what military officials see in Russia's war on Ukraine, Milley said future warfare will be very complex, with elusive enemies and urban warfare that requires long-range precision weapons and new advanced technologies.

Drawing a parallel to what military officials see in Russia’s war on Ukraine, Milley said future warfare will be very complex, with elusive enemies and urban warfare that requires long-range precision weapons and new advanced technologies.

Drawing a parallel to what military officials see in Russia’s war on Ukraine, Milley said future warfare will be very complex, with elusive enemies and urban warfare that requires long-range precision weapons and new advanced technologies.

The United States has already sent new high-tech drones and other weapons to the Ukrainian military – in some cases, equipment that was only in the early prototype stages.

Weapons such as shoulder-launched Switchblade kamikaze drones are used against the Russians, although they are still evolving.

And as the war in Ukraine has moved – from Russia’s unsuccessful battle to take Kyiv to a fierce urban battle for cities in the eastern Donbass region – the need for different types of weapons has also increased. increased.

The first few weeks focused on long-range precision weapons such as Stinger and Javelin missiles, but now the focus is on artillery and increased howitzer shipments.

Cadets graduating from the United States Military Academy attend their graduation ceremony

Cadets graduating from the United States Military Academy attend their graduation ceremony

Lt. Gen. and Superintendent Darryl A. Williams speaks at the West Point 2022 launch ceremony

Lt. Gen. and Superintendent Darryl A. Williams speaks at the West Point 2022 launch ceremony

The graduating cadets embrace during their commencement ceremony

The graduating cadets embrace during their commencement ceremony

Life at West Point

West Point has over 200 years of history and is America’s most prestigious military academy.

To be admitted to the academy, applicants must not be over the age of 23, be US citizens, not be married or have children, and must have excellent grades and leadership.

After graduating, cadets will complete a basic officer leader course where they will study general operations, planning, and army training.

They will then choose to study a branch-specific subject and join a unit for three years.

Cadets must serve a minimum of eight years in a combination of active duty and reserve component service.

Source: West Point website

And over the next 25 to 30 years, the fundamental character of war and its weapons will continue to change.

The U.S. military, Milley said, cannot cling to old concepts and weapons, but must urgently modernize and develop the force and equipment that can deter or, if necessary, win in conflict. global.

And graduating officers, he said, will have to change the way US forces think, train and fight.

As the leaders of tomorrow’s army, Milley said, the newly created second lieutenants will fight with robotic tanks, ships and planes, and rely on artificial intelligence, synthetic fuels, manufacturing 3D and human engineering.

“It will be your generation that will bear the burden and assume the responsibility of keeping the peace, containing and preventing the outbreak of a war between great powers,” he said.

In blunt terms, Milley described what it looks like to not prevent wars between great powers.

“Consider for a moment that 26,000 – 26,000 – soldiers and Marines were killed in just six weeks from October to November 1918 in the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne in World War I,” Milley said.

“Also consider that 26,000 American soldiers were killed in the eight weeks of the summer of 1944, from the beaches of Normandy to the liberation of Paris.”

Graduate officers, Milley said, will have to change the way US forces think, train and fight

Graduate officers, Milley said, will have to change the way US forces think, train and fight

Recent enthusiastic West Point graduates congratulate each other

Recent enthusiastic West Point graduates congratulate each other

Recalling the 58,000 Americans killed in the summer of 1944 as World War II raged, he added, “This is the human cost of war between great powers. The butcher’s bill.

Thinking back to her own graduation, Milley paraphrased a popular Bob Dylan song of the time: “we can feel the light breeze in the air.” And right now, as we sit here on the plain of West Point, we can see the storm flags waving in the wind. A loud clap of thunder is heard in the distance. Heavy rain is about to fall.

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