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Naval Academy graduates listen to President Obama, then throw hats

Michael Reynolds / EPA

United States Naval Academy graduates throw their hats at the conclusion of their commencement and commission ceremony at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

Michael Reynolds / EPA

A Naval Academy graduate celebrates after receiving his diploma and commission as President Barack Obama congratulates graduates during the commencement ceremony for the United States Naval Academy, at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., on Friday.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Guests sit in the stands in the rain during the commencement ceremonyfor the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. President Barack Obama urged new graduates to exhibit honor and courage in tackling incidents of sexual assault as they assume leadership positions in the military.

By Tom Curry, National Affairs Writer, NBC News

In a speech to the graduating class of 2013 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., President Barack Obama challenged the 1,047 graduates to “live with integrity” and help restore trust in a military that has been stained by recent charges of sexual assault, just as other American institutions have been shaken by misconduct. “We need your honor… we need values now more than ever,” he urged them.

“Even more than physical courage, we need your moral courage.”“Those who commit sexual assault are not only committing a crime, they threaten the trust and discipline that make our military strong,” he said.


Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images

Graduates listen as President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address during the Naval Academy graduation ceremony.

In his commencement address at the United States Naval Academy, President Obama touched upon the growing military sexual assault cases, telling graduates, "We have to be determined to stop these crimes. They've got no place in the greatest military on earth."