- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Brig. Gen. Diana Holland has been selected as the next commandant of cadets at the Military Academy at West Point and will become the first woman to assume that role when she’s officially sworn early next month.

The Army announced on Tuesday this week that Brig. Gen. Holland, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will replace Maj. Gen. John C. Thomson III when she is formally appointed the 76th Commandant of Cadets during a ceremony scheduled for January 5.

Brig. Gen. Holland graduated from West Point in 1990 and has served as a career engineer officer for the armed forces in the decades since, having also been named U.S. Army War College Fellow at Georgetown University following several tours overseas.

“Diana’s operational and command experiences will bring a new and diverse perspective to West Point’s leadership team,” Eric Fanning, the acting secretary of the Army, said in a statement. “She is absolutely the right person for this critical position.”

“I am very honored to be named the next commandant of the U.S. Corps of Cadets,” Holland said. “It’s a privilege to be part of the team that trains and develops leaders of character for our Army. I look forward to continuing the legacy set by Maj. Gen. Thomson and all previous commandants.”

While Brig. Gen. Holland will become the first woman to serve as commandant of cadets in the military’s history in only a matter of weeks, she already holds the distinction of being the first female general of the of the U.S. Army Fort Drum & 10th Mountain Division. She assumed that role earlier this year and is the first woman to serve as a deputy commanding general in one of the Army’s light infantry divisions, the military reported.

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Confirmation of Brig. Gen. Holland’s new roles came just two weeks after the Pentagon announced that it was opening all of its combat jobs to women for the first time ever, and West Point said that around 23 percent of its incoming freshman are female.

“Every day there’s another first,” Brig. Gen. Holland told the Watertown Daily Times earlier this year. “Pretty soon we’re going to be out of firsts, and it’s going to be, as you say, just another officer taking one of these positions.”

Thomson, the most recent commandant of cadets, quietly relinquished his command over West Point students on Monday and in turn has been appointed to commanding general of the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas.

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