ANNAPOLIS, MD — From a podium in the United States Naval Academy’s storied Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, President Barack Obama offered hearty congratulations and a bit of advice to an exultant field of 1047 graduates about to take their first step into lives of substance abuse, scandal, and despair.
“Today – in this single, fleeting moment – we all are just so proud you,” the president said in his commencement address. “Remember this, because it’s probably all downhill from here.”
Citing countless reports of adultery, alcoholism, rape, and dumbfounding incompetence discovered in the military’s officer corps, Obama painted a candid picture of what the nation’s best and brightest could look forward to upon entering the fleet as Navy ensigns and Marine Corps second lieutenants.
“Let’s face it,” the president told the expectant young officers. “The few of you that will be any good at your job at all will get out. The rest of you will be pushed through a broken promotion system that rewards mindless compliance with outdated standards over anything even vaguely resembling conscious human thought. As you rise through the ranks, you’ll receive awards and honors you don’t deserve and develop a wildly inflated sense of self, until finally you arrive in a position to grossly abuse the power and people in your charge. Give yourselves a round of applause.”
The president went on to describe the great faith he put in the future leaders to renew public trust in military institutions but stated that they would likely fail miserably.
“As I look out at your bright, naïve faces, I see criminals on the cusp of realizing that none of this shit is anything like what you’ve seen in the movies. You all are in for crushingly early mornings and truly meaningless bureaucratic nonsense that will suck your soul dry. Life will suddenly seem very gray, and you’ll probably start needing a drink just to get through the day.”
“But still, a tip of my cap for the bang-up job you’ve done here at Annapolis.”
The president was joined on stage by a number of senior military officials, including Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, who himself graduated from the Academy.
“Cherish these first years of your career,” Mabus advised the midshipmen. “Work hard but don’t forget to breathe in that fresh ocean air, because in the blink of an eye, twenty years will be gone and you’ll find yourself on the front page of the Navy Times for fucking an enlisted person.”
“Oh, and to the 80 percent of you fools who will be married in the next month, a heartfelt Mazel Tov,” Mabus added. “Enjoy it while it lasts.”
“Frankly, if last year’s figures were any indication, an overwhelming number of you are headed for broken hearts and drawn-out custody battles – which makes sense when you consider the frequent deployments, dollar handjobs in Guam, and the fact that you’ve basically been prisoners on this campus for the last four years and have developed no social skills to speak of whatsoever.”
After reciting the oath of office, amid cheers from family and friends, the proud disasters-to-be filed across the stage to receive their diplomas and shake hands with their Commander-in-Chief.
“I’d tell you not to disappoint us,” Obama told one future naval aviator, “but at this point it’s probably inevitable.”