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20-Year-Old Female Soldier Challenges Stereotypes In The Army

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Simone Askew is now recognized as the first black woman to leading the 4,400 cadets at the American prestigious military college West Point in over 200 years.

“Cadet Simone Askew assumed the post of First Captain, the highest position in the cadet’s chain of command, earlier this month. She describes the distinction as humbling and exciting. But her toughest challenge at West Point, she says, has been personal, not professional” according to a recent post on USATODAYCollege. The young, strong beauty broke the glass ceiling when she was announced as the new First Captain at the prestigious military college of West Point.

The 20-year-old is now tasked with leading over 4,000 cadets. At a tender age, Askew recognized she wanted to be in the military. Askew now studies international history where she hopes to write her thesis on genocide prevention. With the recent promotion, Simone has her sights set on a career as a military intelligence officer after graduation.

As a 6-year-old camping in the Virginia woods, Simone Askew marched for fun, leading her young sister and friends in formation. A few years later, the sight of @usnavy midshipmen striding across an Annapolis football field solidified her desire to be the person who led troops. “What does it take,” she asked her mother at that game, pointing to the cadets, “to lead that?” Yesterday, Cadet Askew — the first African-American woman to hold the highest student position at @westpoint_usma — led the freshmen Army cadets for 12 miles. As the #WestPoint corps of cadets first captain, Simone, now 20, will not only be at the forefront of every academy event, but she’ll set the class agenda and oversee the roughly 4,400 students. “You’re selected for this role, that’s not the end of it,” she said yesterday. Her appointment is a significant step for West Point. “Simone looks like America,” said Pat Walter Locke, the first African-American woman to graduate from the academy and one of Simone’s mentors. Pat didn’t think she would see an African-American woman hold the coveted position in her lifetime. “Everybody can see themselves in Simone,” she said. @hlswift took this portrait of #SimoneAskew yesterday at West Point.

A post shared by The New York Times (@nytimes) on

The young leader is not only challenging stereotypes with her great work ethic,  but according to  Lt. Gen. Gwendolyn Bingham, the second African-American woman to achieve the same rank, Askew’s attitude differentiates her from others. “I’m grinning from ear to ear,” Bingham told USATODAYCollege “I love her professionalism. I love her positivity. I’ve often found that a positive attitude will take us one half the distance.”

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