Meet Simone Askew: West Point's First African-American Female Captain

Simone Askew will serve as West Point's first African-American woman captain
U.S. Army

A new page is American history comes in the form of a 20-year-old student named Simone Askew. The Virginia West Point cadet is the first Black woman appointed to serve in the military school's highest leadership position. Did you catch the part of her only being 20-years-old? Okay, just checking. 

Simone is an International History major who attended Fairfax High School before beginning her collegiate years at West Point. She was a leader in high school as the president of her class and founder of the Black Student Union. 

Askew's administrative abilities didn't stop after graduation from high school as she went on to take charge of guiding more than 1,500 cadets as Regimental Commander of Cadet Basic Training II at the New York military prep school. Simone's position as captain at West Point will put her in charge of more than 4,000 of her peers. How's that for girl power?

"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," Simone's sister, Nina Askew, tells media. "There’s nothing that can hold you back." 

Simone has already proven herself an excellent student at West Point. She is a member of the crew team and was awarded the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Military Leadership. Askew's latest position consists of assisting instructors with class agendas along with serving as mediator between students and administration. 

In many respects, the 20-year-old's experience as high school class president has already prepared her for this position since members of student body governments often serve as liaisons. It also helps to have a mentor who graduated from West Point's first co-ed class in 1980: enter,  Priscilla "Pat" Locke.

Priscilla "Pat" Locke
Pat Locke was one of many included in West Point's first co-ed class of 1980

Askew's background and village of supporters may have led her to the water of greatness, but it is the young adult's willingness to drink that has gotten her to this point in life. 

"It’s unbelievable for me that this has happened in my lifetime," Pat Locke tells the press. "I didn’t think I was going to see it." Simone's mom says, "She has always been a leader." 

Kudos to you, Simone Askew!

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