A West Point cadet has made history by being the first Black woman appointed to the highest leadership role at the prestigious military academy.
According to the Huff Post, Simone Askew was recently promoted from Regimental Commander of Cadet Basic Training II to West Point’s first captain, the highest position possible for a cadet. The 20-year-old will now be in charge of more than 4,000 cadets at the Virginia-based campus.
Her role also consists of “helping with class agendas and acting as an intermediary between her fellow cadets and administration officials, among other duties, the Huff Post noted.
“Simone truly exemplifies our values of Duty, Honor, Country. Her selection is a direct result of her hard work, dedication and commitment to the Corps over the last three years,” said Brig. Gen. Steven W. Gilland, commandant of cadets.
He added: “I know Simone and the rest of our incredibly talented leaders within the Class of 2018 will provide exceptional leadership to the Corps of Cadets in the upcoming academic year.”
According to the U.S. Military Academy Public Affairs Office, Askew is currently a member of the Army West Point crew team and the recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Military Leadership. She will graduate from West Point in 2018 and will start her new role on August 13 of this year.
Her sister Nina Askew told NBC Washington that Simone’s new role is a “great step” forward.
“It’s a great step for not only women, but African-American women, because it shows that no matter what your sex, or your race, you can really do anything,” she stressed. “There’s nothing that can hold you back.”
Askew’s mother, Pam Askew, also told the news outlet that her daughter has dreamed of being in the Army since she was in the third grade and saw midshipmen march into a Navy football game.
“She saw them all in formation and rose up and asked me, ‘What does it take to lead that?’”
“She has always been a leader,” her mom said.
Congrats Simone! We salute you!