“An Endless Source Of Opportunities”: A West Point First Captain And Rhodes Scholar Reflects

Simone Askew


Simone Askew grew up in a diverse environment in Baltimore, Maryland, and Fairfax, Virginia. In high school, she felt that she had “an ability to connect to a lot of different people,” a trait which would help her at the Military Academy. As she began to look at colleges, she looked at the service academies, ultimately choosing West Point. Inspired by her Plebe history instructors, she majored in history, and developed the JSAMAPS (Joint Service Academies Mass Atrocity Prevention Symposium) with a classmate and faculty advisor. During her junior year, she applied for several scholarships, and eventually received a Rhodes Scholarship, enabling her to pursue Refugee Studies at Oxford. With support from her Tactical Officer, she decided to compete for a key leader position and was selected to be First Captain of the Corps of Cadets. Upon graduation, she will commission as an Engineer Officer, and then travel to Oxford for the next two years. In this interview, she talks about her childhood and attending West Point. She reflects on lessons she learned from her roommates, from applying for scholarships, and from leading the Corps. She discusses some of her professors, and developing an appreciation for the faculty. She describes her year as First Captain, and recalls some of the advice and criticism she’s received. Finally, she talks about what West Point means to her.


name Simone Askew
institution USMA
graduation year 2018
service Engineer
specialty First Captain
service dates 2018