“The Army didn’t want them there. The academy leadership didn’t want them there. The school’s faculty and cadets didn’t want them there. It seemed no one did–but in July 1976, 119 young women stood at the gates to the US Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, NY, to embark on a course that would change their lives, the academy and the Army, forever.”
After the 1975 legislation signed by President Ford, women were welcomed into US service academies. After four years of strenuous work, 62 brave cadets became the first women to graduate from West Point in 1980. The original 119 women who entered the academy faced sexism, hostility, and doubt from their male counterparts. It was clear, West Point, one of the most prestigious academies, wasn’t ready for these kick-ass women. With uniform adjustments and against all odds, these women graduated and moved on to serve the country along with men, just how it should be.
Today, the 62 Second Lieutenants who joined the long gray line after 175 years of an all-male tradition are being inducted in the US Army Women’s Hall of Fame. The 1980 USMA first women graduates and Sergeant Major Mueller will be formally inducted on March 17th in Washington, D.C. Not only did these rockin’ women make history, but they also paved the way for others to have an opportunity to do the same. Here at BUST, we are envious of your abilities and appreciate your hard work!
Pictures from: here.