Miles, Andrea C.(born: 1961)
Andrea C. Miles, in Fairfield, KY, was the first African American woman from Kentucky to attend West Point Military Academy. She was the third woman from Kentucky to attend the school. There were five African American women already enrolled and seven more had accepted offers of appointments in 1979. The school had an enrollment of 3,109 students, 226 were women. The school had first admitted women in 1976 when 119 women enrolled.
Unlike the past practice with students being nominated to West Point by a member of the U.S. Congress, Andrea Miles had gotten a letter from the school asking her to consider attending. She was eligible for a presidential nomination due to her father, Rev. James Miles, having served 20 years in the U. S. Army. Her high academic scores at Nelson County High School had also been taken into consideration.
The lack of a nomination was not completely out of the ordinary. Charles D. Young was the first African American from Kentucky to attend and graduate from West Point. A member of the U.S. Congress did not nominated him. Brigadier General, Charles D. Young had earned his way into West Point by successfully completing the cadetship examination in 1883.
Sources: Al Cross, "'It's a milestone:' woman becoming cadet wants to help other blacks," The Courier-Journal, 07/01/1979, front page & p.A16; Jacob M. Henry, "Pride and excellence: the first class of women at West Point (online)," National Museum of the United States Army webpage.