First Woman Commandant of Cadets Sworn In at West Point

Brigadier General Diana Holland made history on Tuesday when she became the first woman commandant of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (USMA).

“I am very honored to be named the next Commandant of the U.S. Corps of Cadets,” Holland said in a statement. “It’s a privilege to be part of the team that trains and develops leaders of character for our Army.”

As commandant of cadets, Holland will be responsible for the development of cadets into Army officers. Holland was previously the first woman general of the U.S. Army Fort Drum & 10th Mountain Division.

When announcing Holland to the post, acting Army Secretary Eric K. Fanning said, “Diana’s operational and command experiences will bring a new and diverse perspective to West Point’s leadership team. She is absolutely the right person for this critical position.”

“For decades, women’s discriminatory and systematic exclusion from the military was being used to block the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment,” says Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “It was always a poor excuse, and now it’s being exposed as such. At last, these barriers are tumbling down one by one.”

Holland’s appointment comes a month after Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that all military combat jobs will be opened up to women beginning this year.

Media Resources: Reuters 1/5/16; U.S. Army 1/5/16; Feminist Newswire 12/3/15

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