WEST POINT, NY – Today, the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point held a special, mandatory, socially-distanced graduation ceremony for the 1,123 members of the 2020 class, the Academy’s 222nd.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), West Point class of 1971 and the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement congratulating the class of 2020 and their families, who were not permitted to attend the ceremony in person due to COVID-19 restrictions:

“Like many, I am concerned about politicization of the military.  But today is all about these exceptional young officers. 

“They helped shape one another and together they will help shape our nation’s future.  Today is a special celebration for them and their families and communities who have relentlessly supported them. 

“Things are obviously different this year due to COVID-19, the social distancing orders, and because this year’s graduates are no longer cadets.  They commissioned remotely on May 23, earning their second lieutenant bars and swearing an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

“Traditions and graduation venues may change, but the Army’s core values of duty, honor, integrity, respect, and selfless service are timeless and ever present.  Everyone who swears that oath devotes themselves to a cause greater than themselves and must bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution.

“The class of 2020 demonstrated today that no matter the circumstances, West Point and the Army will always find a way to adapt, persevere, and serve the United States. 

“These young men and women are well-prepared and already leading by example.  We salute them, are inspired by them, and will faithfully support them as they lead and defend our nation.”