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Gen. Joseph Dunford addresses Air Force cadets at 2017 graduation

Gen. Joseph Dunford gives the 2017 Air Force Academy commencement speech

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gives the commencement speech at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation, May 24, 2017 (Video: DoD News)

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Nearly 1,000 cadets are beginning their military careers after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. The Gazettereports that the nation's top general, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Joseph Dunford, told graduates on Wednesday that their accomplishments at the school mean little in the world they're about to enter. He said excellence is expected of them and that "it is time to lead."

Cadets Cassidy Jenki Oshiro, facing, and Colin Quitta celebrate after receiving their diplomas at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

Photo Credit: Dougal Brownlie/The Gazette via AP

The Class of 2017's 979 cadets were officially commissioned as Air Force second lieutenants during the commencement ceremony at Falcon Stadium near Colorado Springs.

It ended with a traditional flyover by the Thunderbirds and cadets tossing their hats into the air.

Caleb Anderson, Chris Carr, Austin Flues, and Madeline Gloss from left to right celebrate the hat toss at Falcon Stadium at the US Air Force Academy on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Photo Credit: Dougal Brownlie/The Gazette via AP

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