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Remarks on Presenting the 1994 Commander in Chief Trophy to the United States Air Force Academy Football Team

May 01, 1995

Please be seated. I'm delighted to see all of you here: Senator Burns; Secretary Widnall; to our distinguished military leaders who are here, General Shalikashvili, General Fogelman, General Stein; members of the Board of Visitors of the Air Force Academy; Coach DeBerry; and the seniors of the Falcons football team. I want to congratulate the Air Force Academy on winning the Commander in Chief trophy now for the 6th year in a row.

When I presented the Air Force Academy the Commander in Chief trophy 2 years ago, I had just become President, and I didn't understand that the idea of a traveling trophy meant that it was supposed to go back and forth between Colorado and Washington—[laughter]— once a year. I now understand what this traveling trophy is, and I think I will be far more comfortable in doing my duty today.

I was impressed with the Air Force Academy's ferocious defense. We could use some of your coaching up here from time to time, Coach. Sacking the opposing quarterback a record 48 times; 2 straight games holding your opponents to minus 4 yards rushing; and after years of a wishbone offense, which I have followed closely, you pass more, over 1,500 yards this year. I think it's more appropriate for the Air Force Academy to have a big air attack. [Laughter]

More importantly, you've won this trophy 6 years in a row, and you won this year because the young men who play football have embraced the lessons that Coach DeBerry has taught. The values of discipline, teamwork, and faith produce success not only on the field but also in the Air Force and in life.

I look forward to seeing all of you again on May 31st, when I will have the honor of speaking at your commencement. And I am very proud that in 30 days all the young men behind me will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force.

Having said that, I am very pleased now to present the Commander in Chief trophy to Coach DeBerry and the Air Force Academy Falcons, and to invite the coach up here to make whatever remarks he'd like to make.


NOTE: The President spoke at 6:44 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Lt. Gen. Paul Stein, USAF, Superintendent, and Fisher DeBerry, football coach, U.S. Air Force Academy.

William J. Clinton, Remarks on Presenting the 1994 Commander in Chief Trophy to the United States Air Force Academy Football Team Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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