Skip to content

Simone Askew, Trailblazing West Point First Captain, Makes History At Army-Navy Game

Simone Askew, Trailblazing West Point First Captain, Makes History At Army-Navy Game


All photos via: Getty Images 

Back in August, 21-year-old Simone Askew made history as the first African American woman to be appointed First Captain of the West Point Corps of Cadets. Now, she has made history once more. This time as the first African American woman to lead the traditional march-on ceremony at the 118th Army-Navy college football game. 

The historic moment happened on Saturday when Askew led about 4,400-member Corps of Cadets onto the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia before the game started. Then another happened at the end of the game when the Army beat the Navy in a 14-13 victory, marking its first time winning the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy since 1996. 

If you ask Askew's mother, she had a feeling that her daughter would end up on that field one day. 

"She literally saw the (Navy)] midshipmen march in formation onto the field and rose up from her chair and pointed at them and said to me, 'What does it take to lead that?’" Simone's mother, Pam Askew, told ABC News. 

“I could see that spark in her and that it really just ignited a desire to attend a service academy," Pam Askew said. "She was just drawn to this."

From being president of her high school class, to founder of its Black Student Union, to recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Military Leadership, to brigade commander, Askew's exceptional leadership skills led her to become First Captain. 

When she graduates from West Point next year, Askew, who is a 2018 Rhodes Scholar, will continue her education at Oxford University and then after pursue her dreams of becoming an Army Engineer.