President Obama shakes the hand of John McCain IV, son of 2008 campaign rival Sen. John McCain, during graduation ceremonies at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
(CNN) - President Obama stood Friday before the graduates of the Naval Academy and made a vow that reflected the criticisms of the previous administration that filled much of his presidential campaign.
"It's a promise that as long as I am your Commander in Chief, I will only send you into harm's way when it is absolutely necessary, and with the strategy, the well-defined goals, the equipment and the support that you need to get the job done," he told the crowd in Annapolis, Maryland.
"This includes the job of bringing the Iraq war to a responsible end and pursuing a new comprehensive strategy to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda and its allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
He noted that the government has "halted reductions in Navy personnel and increased the size of the Marine Corps," and he said, "we will maintain America's military dominance and keep you the finest fighting force the world has ever seen."