Simone Askew just hit the United States Military Academy School–more commonly known as West Point–with a dab of black girl magic by becoming the first Black woman to lead the school’s corp of cadets.
Askew’s appointment as First Captain, the highest position in the leadership hierarchy for West Point cadets, was announced last week. She’ll officially assume her role on August 14. Askew will oversee 4,400 cadets and act as the point person between the cadets and the administration.
Prior to being designated First Captain she served as Regimental Commander of Cadet Basic Training II where she led a mere 1,500 plus cadets.
The new First Captain studies International History and is expected to graduate in 2018. She has also been dutifully preparing to serve her country through her involvement in a plethora of organizations.
She is a is a graduate of Air Assault School; an EXCEL Scholar, a program for marginalized members of the academy that are outperforming peers; a recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Military Leadership and a member of the Phi Alpha Theta Honorary National History Society. She also earned the highest Recondo score among all other women during Combat Field Training II for her class.
“Simone truly exemplifies our values of Duty, Honor, Country,” commandment of cadets Brig. Gen. Steven W. Gilland said in a statement about Askew’s appointment. “Her selection is a direct result of her hard work, dedication and commitment to the Corps over the last three years.”
“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,” Gilland continued.
In an interview with NBC Washington, Askew’s sister, Nina, discussed why the announcement of her sibling’s new role was so meaningful.
“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 told NBC Washington. “There’s nothing that can hold you back.”
In the fall of 2016 only 20 percent of students enrolled at West Point were women.