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First Black Woman to Lead Cadets at West Point Begins Duties

  • Associated Press

In this Aug. 3, 2017, image provided by the U.S. Army, West Point Cadet Simone Askew poses for a photo.

Simone Askew is making history as the first black woman to lead the Long Grey Line at the U.S. Military Academy.

But first, she's joining a long, grimy line of cadets ending basic training with a traditional 12-mile (19-kilometer) march Monday.

The 20-year-old international history major from Fairfax, Virginia, assumes duties this week 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.

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.

Brig. Gen. Steve Gilland says Askew exemplifies the academy's values of duty, honor and country.

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