The U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduated 252 new officers along with nine international students on Wednesday. Vice President Kamala Harris delivered the keynote address during the 141st Commencement Exercises in New London, Conn.

The class of 2022 consisted of 87 cadets from underrepresented minority groups including the largest number of Asian American and Pacific Islanders to graduate in Coast Guard Academy history. 

This year also marked the second highest number of cadets to commission into the Coast Guard in addition to 21 Cyber Systems graduates, the first to graduate from the newly instituted major to meet the needs of the service’s cybersecurity strategy of defending cyber space, enabling operations, and protecting infrastructure. 

The new officers will begin to serve in a variety of operational roles throughout the Coast Guard, mostly on cutters.

Nine graduating international cadets from Cambodia, Iceland, Jordan, Mexico, Madagascar, Palau, Panama, Rwanda and the Ukraine will serve in their respective countries of origin. 

“We view our cadets as our eyes and ears and hands and hearts, wherever you serve,” said Vice President Harris. “You are doing the critical work — you will be doing the critical work to protect our country, to advance our interests, and to shape the trajectory of world affairs.” 

Founded in 1876, the Coast Guard Academy is one of the five U.S. service academies and is ranked among the nation’s most prestigious and selective institutions of higher learning. 

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