Biden Welcomes 90 Space Force Guardians at Air Force Academy Graduation

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — U.S. Air Force Academy cadets march onto Stillman Parade Field for the Class of 2023 graduation Parade, May 31, 2023 in Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Rayna Grace)

President Joe Biden welcomed 90 new lieutenants to the Space Force on Thursday in Colorado with an Air Force Academy commencement address that highlighted the space service’s contribution to America’s Ukrainian allies.

The new Guardians joined 840 Air Force lieutenants for the graduation rites at the academy’s Falcon Stadium, an event that drew a crowd estimated at 18,000 spectators.

The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” fly over the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado, June 1, 2023. The flyover marks the culmination of the Academy’s Class of 2023 graduation ceremony where more than 900 cadets commissioned to be the Air Force and Space Force’s newest second lieutenants. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Breanna Klemm)

“There is no doubt in any of our minds that they are ready,” Biden said of the graduates.

In a 25-minute speech, Biden stressed the importance of U.S. alliances, including its bonds with Ukraine, which is expected to soon launch a counter-offensive against Russian invaders.

“One of our greatest assets is our unmatched network of allies and partners,” Biden said.

While praising the alliance’s contribution to Ukraine’s fight, Biden pointed out that the Pentagon has delivered unprecedented assistance to the embattled nation.

“The United States Air Force and the United States Space Force have been the backbone of that effort,” Biden said.

The Air Force has airlifted tens of billions of dollars in humanitarian and military assistance to the Ukrainian government. The Space Force has delivered commercial Starlink and other communications gear, precision navigation and timing equipment, and offered missile warning to leaders Kyiv. Space Force contributions delivered advantages to the Ukrainian military on the ground while saving civilian lives amid frequent Russian missile attacks.

“No other nation in the world, the whole world, has the enabling capacity we have,” Biden said.

The 90 new Space Force lieutenants are a significant personnel boost to the diminutive service, which is slated to have 8,600 troops on its roster by Oct. 1.

The lieutenants have been trained in the Air Force Academy’s renowned aerospace curriculum, which includes a cadet-run FalconSat program that sees students manufacture, launch, and operate satellites in orbit.

— Tom Roeder, Senior Data Analyst and Editor, can be reached at

For in-depth analysis on space issues,

Visit The Space Report

Stay informed with email updates from Symposium 365 and Space Foundation