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With flags flying high all across the nation this Independence Day, a new dawn is on the horizon for students at the United States Military Academy. Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams was named the first Black commander in West Point’s 216-year history, and had the honor of leading the class this past Monday (July 2).

Williams, an Alexandria, Virginia native and 1983 West Point graduate, holds master’s degrees in leadership development, military art and science, and national security and strategic studies. He was second in command as a deputy general in the Republic of Korea, and was most recently the Allied Land Command Commander for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Turkey.

In 2014, President Obama tapped Williams to lead a command center in Liberia to address the Ebola crisis.

The appointment of Lt. Gen. Williams as West Point’s 60th superintendent comes on the heels of Simone Askew breaking barriers herself as the first Black woman cadet captain at the academy. Like Williams, Askew is also a native of Northern Virginia.

PHOTO: Public Domain

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