WEST POINT, N.Y. (May 25, 2012) -- The Class of 2012 arrived on the Plain on the morning of May 25 for the graduation parade, their final one as cadets of the U.S. Military Academy before commissioning as Army officers the next day.

Attendees filled the bleachers and walkways surrounding the Plain hours before the parade commenced, with cameras and cell phones at the ready to catch a glimpse, photograph and record their graduating cadets.

The day began with an informal ceremony during morning formation to recognize the rising underclass cadets who will take on further leadership responsibilities following summer training. The parade also included a pass in review which signified the transfer of leadership to the Class of 2013 for the Corps of Cadets.

Marching in the review were cadets from allied nations enrolled in the four-year program at the U.S. Military Academy. They will serve in the armed forces of their respective countries following their class graduations. There are currently 53 allied cadets representing 30 countries as members of the Corps of Cadets.

Within the Class of 2012, 12 foreign cadets representing Azerbaijan, Colombia, El Salvador, Georgia, Jordan, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea and Taiwan, will return to their countries for service after graduation May 26.

The U.S. Military Academy Band and its field music group, the Hellcats, were present on the Plain to support the Corps of Cadets at the parade.

Graduation Week at West Point is filled with activities for visiting families and guests to share with their cadets -- from concerts, receptions and religious services to award ceremonies and parades. The day will end with a formal banquet for the Class of 2012 with Gen. Raymond Odierno, the 38th and current Chief of Staff of the Army, as guest speaker.