Congrats are in order for the 32 cadets who will make history as the largest class of Black women to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point in its 217-year existence, Because of Them We Can reports.
The women celebrated their upcoming graduation with a traditional Old Corps photo shoot.
Cadet Tiffany Welch-Baker opened up about inspiring the next generation of military leaders during an interview with Because of Them We Can. “My hope when young Black girls see these photos is that they understand that regardless of what life presents you, you have the ability an fortitude to be a force to be reckoned with,” she said.
She discussed her journey at West Point and finding comfort with her peers. “In just a short while I met so many cadets that looked like me, and that offered me some comfort. I have been so fortunate to have my sisters in arms, we have been fortunate to have each other.”
Though West Point was established in 1802, women were not allowed to enroll until 1976.
Over the past few years, the academy has made strides toward inclusion, boasting several historic firsts. Last year, Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams became the academy’s first Black superintendent. Two years ago, Cadet Simone Askew became the first Black woman named First Captain of the Corps of Cadets at West Point.