Female general to head US military academy for first time

Brigadier-General Diana Holland will assume her position as the 76th commandant of cadets in January.
Brigadier-General Diana Holland will assume her position as the 76th commandant of cadets in January. PHOTO: US ARMY

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US military has for the first time appointed a woman to run the prestigious US Military Academy at West Point, the Pentagon announced on Tues (Dec 15).

Brigadier-General Diana Holland, a veteran of the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will assume her position as the 76th commandant of cadets in January.

The academy, located in New York state, provides education and training to aspiring military officers. Tuition and all expenses are fully paid.

"I am very honoured to be named the next commandant of the US Corps of Cadets," Brigadier-General 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."

Though the position was not previously closed to women, the announcement of her appointment comes as the Pentagon works to incorporate more females into the military - especially in leadership roles.

Pentagon chief Ashton Carter earlier in December ordered the military to open all positions - including combat roles - to women.