First black woman appointed as West Point’s first captain

Sometimes, all it takes is one woman to break through the glass ceiling to pave the way for those who follow in her footsteps.

Take Simone Askew, for example. According to HuffPost, the 20-year-old International History major at West Point was recently appointed as the academy’s first captain, making her the first black woman to ever hold the prestigious position.

Currently serving as the Regimental Commander of Cadet Basic Training II, HuffPost says  Askew leads over 1,500 cadets, but with her promotion, she will have more than 4,000 under her charge, giving her “the highest position possible for a cadet.”

Proud sister Nina Askew spoke to NBC Washington about her sister’s history-making promotion and shared a message of inspiration:

“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 said. “There’s nothing that can hold you back.”

May Simone light the way for many more!

Holland Appointed as First Female West Point Commandant

There’s a first time for everything, and on Dec. 16, the U.S. Pentagon appointed the first female commandant of the West Point Corps of Cadets.

According to “Women in the World,”an affiliate of The New York Times, the Pentagon named Brig. Gen. Diana Holland as commandant of the West Point Corps of Cadets, succeeding Maj. Gen. John Thomson. The change will be effective Jan. 5, 2016, making her the 76th commandant of cadets and the first woman to hold the position in the academy’s history.

A graduate of West Point herself, Holland graduated from the academy in 1990 in the engineers unit and went on to serve in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, says Women in the World. She is currently serving Deputy Commanding General with the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, New York. She has also received the Legion of Merit for outstanding service and conduct and the Bronze Star for heroic achievement and service.

Army Secretary Eric Fanning called Holland the right person for the position, saying that her “operational and command experience will bring a new and diverse perspective to West Point’s leadership team.”

Holland also issued a statement on the acceptance of her new position. “I am very honored to be named the next Commandant of the U.S. Corps of Cadets. It’s a privilege to be part of the team that trains and develops leaders of character for our Army.”