SECDEF Tells Academy Grads to Respect Congress, Press
Defense Secretary Robert Gates had an interesting message for the Navy’s newest crop of ensigns: respect Congress and the press.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates encouraged the U.S. Naval Academy’s Class of 2007 yesterday “to remember the importance of two pillars of our freedom under the Constitution: the Congress and the press.”
“Both surely try our patience from time to time, but they are the surest guarantees of the liberty of the American people,” Gates told 1,028 graduates during a sunny ceremony at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
Gates told the freshly minted Navy and Marine officers that they will have the responsibility to inform people below them that the military “must be nonpolitical” and to recognize the obligation to truthfully report to Congress, “especially when it involves admitting mistakes or problems.”
“The same is true with the press, in my view a critically important guarantor of our freedom,” Gates said.
It’s important for officers to remember that, while the president is the commander-in-chief, they take their oath to the Constitution and work for the citizens of the country, not a single man.