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Remarks to the 2023 ROTC graduates

It is an honor to be here this morning to congratulate our about-to-be commissioned officers, their parents and family members, and their mentors and friends.

We meet today at the intersection of two of our country’s great institutions: the United States military and Harvard University. Our histories have intertwined for centuries, a reminder of the profoundly powerful connection between liberty and truth—libertas and veritas.

Your education has prepared you to think critically and deeply, to connect fields and disciplines, to distinguish yourself through research and scholarship, and to contribute in meaningful ways to a world very much in need of discernment.

Your presence in the several branches of the military will not only contribute to the support and defense of the Constitution, but also underscore the unique contributions that students educated at Harvard can—and should—make to the armed forces.

Today, we praise your courage and selflessness, as well as your devotion to the idea and the ideals that created the United States of America is an inspiration to all of us. We honor your choice; we honor your commitment; we honor your service. And we acknowledge, once more, as always, that military service is the highest form of public service.

Thank you—and Godspeed.