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Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Susan Wild (PA-07)

August 3, 2020

Press Release

LEHIGH VALLEY – Today, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) released the following statement following the announcement that Cadet Reilly McGinnis of Pennsylvania’s Seventh District would assume the role of First Captain, the highest position in the cadet chain of command, at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point:

“The rank Cadet McGinnis has earned – the highest among all students at West Point – is a testament to her exceptional dedication to her studies and her entrenched commitment to service. Only the sixth woman to ever hold this prestigious command, Cadet McGinnis’ achievement speaks to the growing ranks of women that continue to make our military stronger and our country safer. I am certain she will demonstrate all that can be achieved when intelligent, talented women lead, and it is because of the leadership and drive of young women like her that our democracy endures and our nation’s founding ideals are upheld.

“Every year, it is one my highest privileges to nominate some of our community’s best and brightest people to our nation’s service academies – and watching them succeed and grow into our leaders is a true honor. In this case, I want to recognize my predecessor, former Congressman Charlie Dent, for placing Cadet McGinnis’ name in nomination for acceptance to West Point. She is now a rising senior, and her success represents the best of our community and our country. I know she will continue to make us all proud as she assumes her role as First Captain and through her service to our nation for years to come.”

Cadet McGinnis hails from Macungie, and is the daughter of Richard and Mary McGinnis. She is a 2017 graduate of Emmaus High School. 

The First Captain is the Brigade Commander and most senior ranking of the 4,400 cadets at West Point, known as the United States Corps of Cadets. After federal law was passed in 1975 allowing women to be admitted to military academies, the first co-ed class graduated West Point in 1980, and today, 24 percent of the Corps are women. Cadet McGinnis, only the sixth woman to lead the Corps, will assume duties that include implementing a class agenda and acting as a liaison between the Corps and the administration.