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History-making West Point cadet Simone Askew on inspiring others to serve

West Point cadet on service
History-making West Point cadet on inspiring others to serve 00:46

On Friday morning, we'll introduce you to a new series called "Profiles in Service" in which we talk to people who dedicate their lives to helping others. In the first installment, "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell visits the United States Military Academy at West Point to speak with Simone Askew, who made history as the first black woman to serve as first captain, the highest-ranking student leading a 4,400-member Corps of Cadets. 

It's a role previously held by Gen. Douglas MacArthur and four-star Army generals who currently command forces in South Korea and Afghanistan.

Simone Askew and Norah O'Donnell CBS News

O'Donnell asked Askew about her commitment to service:

NORAH O'DONNELL: How do you inspire service in others or for others to do service?

SIMONE ASKEW: Goodness, that's so difficult. I don't even know if I've mastered that… But on a daily basis, it's definitely being a leader that people deserve.

O'DONNELL: My mom always says if you capture someone's heart, you capture their mind, that sometimes it takes an emotional connection in order to require an intellectual response or an intellectual desire to respond.

ASKEW: Definitely. And being able to connect emotionally is really important… I need to inspire them. Or we all need to be inspired to do a super tough task. But we have emotional compassion and love for one another. So it makes it okay.

For more from their conversation on service and leadership, watch "CBS This Morning" on Friday, Dec. 8., between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET/PT.

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