NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — The country’s highest-ranking military officer told cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Thursday that as they prepare to graduate, they face a world that has been growing more dangerous.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, gave an address and took questions from cadets during a visit to the academy in New London. Dempsey, a 1974 graduate of West Point, said officers today must be more prepared for leadership at a younger age than his generation.
He said no institution in the country gives its young leaders as much responsibility as the military.
‘‘We are the pre-eminent leadership experience in America,’’ he said.
It was Dempsey’s first visit to the academy in his role as joint chiefs’ chairman.
He said the world has been growing more dangerous, and individuals and groups are now capable of inflicting a level of harm that once only nations could do.
The academy has about 1,030 cadets in its four-year program. Students graduate with a bachelor of science degree and an obligation to serve five years in the Coast Guard.