A record number of African-American women will graduate on Saturday from The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
Cheryl Boujnida, the chief of media relations at the academy, told The Western Journal via email that the class of 2019 will be marking a number of milestones for the 217-year-old institution.
“These ‘Seasons of Firsts’ are unique for these soon-to-be Army officers who will lead America’s soldiers in the defense of our great nation,” she said.
The 34 African-American women joining the ranks of the “Long Gray Line” will help push the total number of female gradates over the years past the 5,000 threshold.
Women were first admitted to West Point in 1976. According to The Washington Post, 62 would go on to graduate in 1980.
We salute the 34 African-American women, the most ever, who will graduate in West Point’s 221st graduation and commissioning ceremony on Saturday, May 25.https://t.co/5E9Zctd8qH pic.twitter.com/ynAoLM92kM
— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) May 17, 2019
In recent years, women have made up just over 20 percent of each year group at the academy, which graduates about 1,000 cadets each spring.
In additional to the record number of African-American women, the class of 2019 also includes the highest number of Hispanic-American cadets.
Further, the total number of Jewish-American cadets to graduate from academy will cross the 1,000 threshold.
West Point is also proud that the graduating seniors who played on the resurgent Army football team were the first to have won the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy back-to-back, as well as win three consecutive bowl games.
Military academies — including West Point, the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy — win the CIC trophy by defeating the other two schools in their yearly matchups.
President Donald Trump awarded the CIC trophy to the Army team at a ceremony at the White House earlier this month.
Today, it was my true honor to present the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy—for the second year in a row, to the @ArmyWP_Football Black Knights. Congratulations once again on your historic victories, and keep on making us proud! pic.twitter.com/nGOC4PQn6S
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 6, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence is slated to speak at the graduation ceremony, which will take place at Michie Stadium at West Point.
According to the academy, between 15,000 and 20,000 are expected to attend.
During the graduation ceremony, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.
Later in the summer, they will report to various military posts, where they are trained in the specific branches the officers have chosen — such as infantry, armor, aviation, field artillery, engineering, military intelligence, transportation and military police — and then onward to their first assignment with units around the country and the world.
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