"You join the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen," Harris said during the ceremony
Vice President Kamala Harris has made history once again — this time by becoming the first woman to deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Her speech marks the first of its kind by a woman in the military academy's 221-year history, and NPR notes that it came at the 75th anniversary of both the end of racial segregation in the armed forces and the beginnings of women having a permanent place in the military.
"These milestones are a reminder of a fundamental truth," Harris, 58, who has already become the first woman commencement speaker at the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Coast Guard Academy, said. "Our military is strongest when it reflects people of America."
During her speech, Harris told graduates that they're entering “an increasingly unsettled world where long-standing principles are at risk," per CNN.
“In the face of all these challenges, America plays a singular role of leadership,” she said. “Cadets, global security and global prosperity depend on the leadership of the United States of America. And a strong America remains indispensable to the world.”
As for the world graduates are entering, Harris called Russia's invasion of Ukraine “an attack on international rules and norms that have served as the foundation of international security and prosperity for generations," and criticized China for “modernizing its military and threatening both the freedom of the seas and rules of international commerce.”
“To the Class of 2023: You join the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen,” Harris said.
“And in years to come, I promise you, you will be tried, and you will be tested. And I am so very confident that you will rise to each occasion. Whatever comes your way. You are ready. And you are ready because you are true leaders of character.”
Harris has celebrated many firsts in her political career as of late and appeared last month on The Jennifer Hudson Show as she reflected on how life has changed since becoming the first woman to hold the VP position.
"Well, you know, we used to take nice quiet walks," Harris said about her husband Doug Emhoff.
"You know I love The Godfather, so you know that one scene after Michael is at the restaurant, and then he has to leave New York because he has to get away?" she said. "And he goes to Italy, and then he's courting this young woman and they're taking this wonderful walk and then the shot pans out and the whole village is on the walk with them?"
"That's sometimes what it's like if Doug and I take a walk together … so it's a little different."
Still, when Harris and her husband return "home " to Los Angeles, she explained she tries to surround herself with family.
"When I'm home, Sunday family dinner is a requisite, everybody knows," Harris, who is stepmother to her husband's grown children, Cole Emhoff, 28, and Ella Emhoff, 23, said. "So the kids, if they're in town, they want to invite people … But Sunday family dinner is my thing, to stay focused and to keep the normalcy."
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.