The task of introducing President Obama to the 2013 graduating class at the U.S. Naval Academy fell Friday to Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is weighing a bid to succeed him.

In remarks at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, O’Malley (D) praised Obama (D) as “a thoughtful and resolute” leader and said the graduates were well-prepared to serve in both the military and the country’s workforce.

“To give our country the better future that our children and our grandchildren deserve, we will need the strongest military in the world, and we will also need the world’s most highly skilled, highly talented and highly innovative workforce,” O’Malley said. “Your training here has put you in the unique position to lead in both of these critically important national endeavors.”

Obama was the commencement speaker at the Naval Academy’s 163rd traditional commencement ceremony, where there were expected to be 1,047 graduates.

O’Malley, who has said he is considering a 2016 presidential bid, also told the crowd that Maryland is proud to be home to the Naval Academy.