Simone Askew is first black woman to lead West Point cadets


WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Simone Askew is making history as the first black woman to lead the Long Grey Line at the U.S. Military Academy.

The 20-year-old international history major from Fairfax, Virginia, assumed duties Monday as first captain of the 4,400-member Corps of Cadets. That’s the highest position in the cadet chain of command at West Point.

After a 12-mile march Monday morning with 1,200 new cadets she led in basic training, Askew said it’s humbling but exciting to step into a new opportunity to lead the corps to greatness along with her team.

Her advice to other young women aspiring to leadership roles is to seek mentorship and make themselves “vessels to be poured into.”

Pat Locke, one of two black women in the first class of women to graduate from West Point in 1980, says Askew is a terrific role model.

Pam Askew adds that her daughter is a natural leader.

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