The U.S. Military Academy was an all-male school until the fall of 1976 when West Point admitted its first 119 female cadets. This followed Congress's passage of 1975 legislation authorizing the enrollment of female students at all federal service academies. Today, females make up roughly 15 percent of each new enrolling class of cadets. In the years since women were first admitted to the academy, four women have served as First Captain, the highest ranking senior cadet. These four are Kristin Baker, 1989; Grace H. Chung, 2003; Stephanie Hightower, 2005; and Lindsey Danilack, 2013. In January 2016, Brigadier General Diana Holland, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, became West Point's first female commandant of cadets.

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