Sent to us by American Forces Press Service:
ANNAPOLIS, Md., May 27, 2011 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates delivered his last commencement speech as defense secretary today, calling on graduates at the U.S. Naval Academy to become the best leaders possible, setting the example and putting their people and organizations above their own interests.
Gates thanked the 1,006 graduates assembled on the field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium here for choosing to serve their country and fellow citizens in uniform.
The secretary noted that the midshipmen entered the academy at the height of the Iraq war, when casualties were at an all-time high and "prospects of success uncertain at best." Meanwhile, the Taliban were making a comeback in Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden, "history's most notorious terrorist," was still at large.