World / Social Issues

West Point to graduate record number of black female cadets

AP

The class of cadets preparing to toss their caps in the air at the U.S. Military Academy’s graduation ceremony Saturday includes a record number of black women.

The 34 women comprise a small slice of the roughly 1,000 cadets in the Class of 2019, but the increased number is a sign of concerted efforts to diversify West Point.

Cadets say they’re proud to be part of a milestone at the historic academy

The class graduating Saturday includes 223 women, the largest number since the first female cadets graduated in 1980. It will include 110 African-Americans, double the number from 2013, and the largest number of Hispanics, 88.

West Point boosted efforts to recruit women and blacks after being told to diversify in 2013 by the Army Chief of Staff. The academy changed its marketing approach and opened a diversity office.