It was a simple answer to a question, but the implications of the words carried the weight of history.
Talking over video chat due to the global pandemic that threw the spring semester at the U.S. Military Academy into chaos, Class of 2020 Cadet Elizabeth Cross detailed her unique journey to West Point, which first took her to a military preparatory school in Philadelphia after she wasn’t admitted to West Point the first time she applied.
It was a difficult year, but her heart was set on attending West Point, so she persevered through the adversity before earning a spot in the Class of 2020.
She talked about her four years at West Point, the challenges she’d overcome—such as a cracked femur that sidelined her during Cadet Basic Training—and the moments during training each summer when she fell in love with the academy and the Army way of life all over again.
Then came a familiar question asked of the current and former female cadets who have walked through the granite halls of West Point along the banks of the Hudson River: “Do you think you've faced any different challenges at West Point because you are a female?”
Now, in 2020, as Cross sat in her house separated from the Corps of Cadets and the academy because of a pandemic, she was able to look back at her four-year journey though West Point and say, “Going through the academy I’ve always felt in a siblinghood ... If you put yourself out there as just a hard-working Soldier, you are respected the same.” Read more.