By Eric S. Bartelt, West Point Pointer ViewMay 4, 2010
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- The White House announced April 21 that President Barack Obama will address the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2010 at the annual commencement ceremony. West Point's graduation is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 22 at Michie Stadium.
Obama returns to West Point nearly six months after his visit to the academy Dec. 1, where he unveiled his strategy to deploy additional troops to Afghanistan.
The announcement came during a nationally-televised speech at Eisenhower Hall to the 4,400-member Corps of Cadets.
During his speech, he outlined a basic strategy to increase troops by 30,000 early this year with an acceleration of training Afghan military and security forces to allow them to better secure their country against al-Qaida and Taliban insurgents, and, eventually, give control back to them.
He made it clear that night why it was important to continue fighting in Afghanistan and also made it evident during his speech why he did it at West Point.
"It is an honor for me to (speak) here-at West Point-where so many men and women have prepared to stand up for our security and to represent what is finest about our country," Obama said.
As the U.S. military continues to make inroads in Afghanistan, Obama's graduation speech to the future military officers comes at a time of great turbulence with the controversial healthcare overhaul and regulations being placed on the financial industry.
The 44th president of the United States may touch on subjects related to the ongoing surge in Afghanistan and continuing operations in the Middle East.
In the past, presidents have used the podium to announce policies such as what President George W. Bush spoke about in 2002 with employing pre-emptive strikes against other nations that harbor terrorists, which later became known as the "Bush Doctrine."
Born Aug. 4, 1961 in Hawaii, Obama would graduate years later from Columbia University and Harvard Law School.
He became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review.
Obama served three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997-2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he ran for U.S. Senate in 2004.
He won election to the U.S. Senate in November 2004.
As a U.S. Senator, he reached across the aisle to pass groundbreaking lobbying reform and brought transparency to government by putting federal spending online.
He was elected president Nov. 4, 2008 and was sworn in Jan. 20, 2009.