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President Obama Honors the Air Force Academy Fighting Falcons with the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy

President Obama presents the U.S. Air Force Fighting Falcons with the Commander-in-Chief's trophy.

This afternoon, President Obama hosted the Air Force Fighting Falcons football team at the White House in honor of their winning the annual Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.

In the East Room, President Obama congratulated the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Mark Welsh; the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy, Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson; Coach Troy Calhoun; and the Fighting Falcons of the Air Force Academy on a great football season. The Falcons went 10-3 this past year, including a bowl victory.

President Obama receiving Commander in Chief Air Force jersey

Cadets Christian Spears (left) and Kale Pearson present President Barack Obama with an Air Force Academy football and jersey during an event to present the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the United States Air Force Academy football team in the East Room of the White House, May 7, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Every year, the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy is awarded to the winner of a series of three football games between the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland; the Military Academy at West Point, New York; and the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

This season marked the 19th time the Fighting Falcons won the series — and today was the Air Force Academy's third visit to the White House since President Obama took office.

President Obama presenting the Commander in Chief's trophy 2015

President Barack Obama delivers remarks while presenting the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy, Coach Troy Calhoun and the United States Air Force Academy football team in the East Room of the White House, May 7, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama also made sure to congratulate the Falcons for more than just their victorious season, pointing out everything they were doing off the field. He praised the cadets for their leadership, and their commitment to combating sexual assault on their campus. He also noted that the Air Force Falcons had the highest graduation rate in the conference, and that Coach Calhoun recruited players with at least a 3.5 high school GPA. He also commended the cadets for volunteering their time and giving back to their communities — and, of course, their country.

"My favorite thing about Air Force — and all the academies who come through here — is not just that they win, it’s how they win."

— President Obama

The Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy will be displayed in the Cadet Fieldhouse at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for the next year. Congratulations to the Air Force Fighting Falcons.

See the President’s full remarks at today's trophy presentation here.