West Point just graduated the most diverse class in its history

news

U.S. Military Academy graduation ceremony. Photo: Brandon O'Connor/U.S. Army

On Saturday, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point graduated the most diverse class in the academy's history.


Of the 980 cadets who are commissioning into the U.S. Army as second lieutenants, there was the highest number of African American women, Hispanic women, and highest number of women overall since the first class of women graduated in 1980, according to a West Point press release.

Frank Demaro, West Point spokesman, told CNN that last year's class had 27 African American women graduates — this year had 34 — and they expect "next year's class will be even larger than this year's."

The academy also graduated its 5,000th female cadet, 1,000th Jewish cadet, and the first international student from the Netherlands. The number of African American graduates from Saturday, 110, is double the number it was in 2013, according to CBS.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the commencement ceremony, recognizing the "historic milestones that we're marking today." He also told the graduates that the world is a "dangerous place," where they will almost certainly see combat.

"It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life," Pence said. "You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen. ... [W]herever you're called, I urge you to take what you learned here and put it into practice. Put your armor on so that when, not if, that day comes, you'll be able to stand your ground. ... You'll stand your ground because the United States Army never quits, never accepts defeat, always puts the mission first, and you my friends are Army strong," Pence said.

SEE ALSO: McConville, Moran confirmed as new Army and Navy chiefs

WATCH NEXT: Vice President Pence at 2019 West Point Graduation

Ed Mahoney/Kickstarter

In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.

The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medal to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.

A small group of veterans hopes to change that.

Read More Show Less
F-16 Fighting Falcon (Photo: US Air Force)

For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.

The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2019. Yuri Kadobnov/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities said on Friday that a doctor who treated those injured in a mysterious accident this month had the radioactive isotope Caesium-137 in his body, but said it was probably put there by his diet.

The deadly accident at a military site in northern Russia took place on Aug. 8 and caused a brief spurt of radiation. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said it occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform a fly-over as newly graduated cadets from the U. S. Air Force Academy toss their hats at the conclusion of their commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 23, 2018. Shortly after the event ceremony's commencement, the Thunderbirds put on an aerial demonstration show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman)

Groundwater at the Air Force Academy is contaminated with the same toxic chemicals polluting a southern El Paso County aquifer, expanding a problem that has cost tens of millions of dollars to address in the Pikes Peak region.

Plans are underway to begin testing drinking water wells south of the academy in the Woodmen Valley area after unsafe levels of the chemicals were found at four locations on base, the academy said Thursday.

Read More Show Less