African-Americans rarely have things handed to them on a platter of gold. They enjoy very few privileges and have to work hard for it, sometimes having to go through more hoops than usual. This, among other reasons, is why we are celebrating the appointment of Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams as the superintendent of the United States Military Academy, West Point.
According to CNN, this is a first time an African-American would be appointed to the post in the Academy’s 216-year history.
Williams graduated from West Point in 1963 and earned his master’s degrees in leadership development, military art and science, and national security and strategic studies. His storied career includes becoming the deputy chief of staff of the United States Army in Europe in Germany, the assistant surgeon general for warrior care and transition, serving as the deputy commanding general in the Republic of Korea and as the commander of the United States Army Africa in Italy.’He also led the US’ response to the Ebola crisis in Liberia after being appointed by then President Barack Obama. Most recently, the West Point alum was the commander for the Allied Land Command for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Turkey.
Today, Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams assumed command as the 60th Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Congratulations, sir! ?? pic.twitter.com/wAyQcGYPQ3
— U.S. Military Academy (@WestPoint_USMA) July 2, 2018
Williams’ appointment comes less than a year after the academy selected the first African-American woman to serve in the highest role in the chain of command for cadets. Simone Askew, a Rhodes Scholar who graduated in May, led 4,400 cadets as first captain, West Point announced in November 2017.
He is the academy’s 60th superintendent and he succeeds Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, who has been in the position since 2013.