The United States Military Academy at West Point has appointed the first African-American superintendent in its 216-year history.
Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams kicked off his first day as the academy’s 60th superintendent on Monday morning with an assumption of command ceremony, according to a news release from West Point. He succeeds Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, who had held the position since 2013.
Williams graduated from West Point in 1983 and earned master’s degrees in leadership development, military art and science, and national security and strategic studies, West Point said.
He went on to serve as the deputy chief of staff of the United States Army in Europe in Germany, and the assistant surgeon general for warrior care and transition.
Later, he was the deputy commanding general in the Republic of Korea. He also held a role as commander of the United States Army Africa in Italy. During that time, President Barack Obama announced that he would establish a command center in Liberia and assigned Williams to lead the US response to the Ebola crisis.
Most recently, Williams was the commander for the Allied Land Command for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Turkey.
Williams’ awards, listed in the news release, include the Distinguished Service Medal, Presidential Service Badge, and Defense Superior Service Medal.
Williams’ appointment comes less than a year after the academy selected the first African-American woman to serve in the highest role in the chain of command for cadets. Simone Askew, a Rhodes Scholar who graduated in May, led 4,400 cadets as first captain, West Point announced in November 2017.
Williams shares his first day at West Point with the class of 2022.