Socom Commander Army Gen. Richard Clarke opened his Aug. 2 address noting he felt fortunate to be addressing the graduating class.
“I am glad to break the streak as the first U.S. Army officer and the first U.S. Army Ranger to preside over a [SEAL qualification] graduation,” Clarke said.
The class began training 15 months ago with 157 students. The physical and mental challenges the sailors faced whittled down the numbers and polished those who made it through to graduation.
“For each of you preparing to walk across this stage, it is an almost indescribable achievement,” Clarke said.
The new SEALs are a diverse group, hailing from 21 different states, the general said, telling the graduates the only thing they shared when the training began “was a desire to test yourselves, to experience a unique challenge, to be part of something bigger than yourselves and to put the needs of the nation ahead of your own.”