Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday
praised West Point class president Eugene “E.J.” Coleman for
coming out gay.
Biden told the United States Military
Academy's class of 2016 that the country's armed forces are
strengthened by greater diversity.
“Having men and women together in the
battlefield is an incredible asset, particularly when they're asked
to lead teams in parts of the world with fundamentally different
expectations and norms,” Biden told the class at its graduation
ceremony at Michie Stadium.
Biden singled out Coleman, saying that
under the military's former “don't ask, don't tell” policy, the
cadet would not have been allowed to serve.
“E.J. would have been discharged from
the Army, and we would have lost an incredible talent,” the
vice president said. “Thanks for your courage, EJ. And I
expect we're going to hear big things from you, pal.”