The most diverse graduating class at Army West Point included 34 black women and 223 women, reports News Center Maine. At the graduation ceremony, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence addressed the graduates, warning them that they will likely see combat.
"Some of you will join the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Pence also took the opportunity to bolster Trump’s name, assuring the crowd that Trump is a reliable supporter of the armed forces.
"As you accept the mantle of leadership I promise you, your commander in chief will always have your back. President Donald Trump is the best friend the men and women of our armed forces will ever have."
Trump “is once again embracing our role as the leader of the free world," claimed Pence. He noted that Trump has proposed a massive defense budget of $750 billion for 2020.
In the midst of the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan, political disruption in Venezuela, and a tumultuous relationship in the Middle East, where another 1,500 U.S. troops are headed to face threats from Iran, Pence remarked that the graduates were almost guaranteed to see combat in their lives:
"It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life. You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen. Some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere."
Pence’s speech marked his first time as commencement speaker, and second visit to West Point.