Margaret A. Brewer

Margaret A. Brewer

Margaret Brewer, of Durand, Michigan, was born there on July 1, 1930. She earned a BS degree in Geography from the University of Michigan in 1952 and then joined the Marine Corps. Margaret served in the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, California 1952-1953 and as inspector and instructor at the Women Reserve Unit Brooklyn, New York 1953-1955. Brewer was Platoon Commander of the Women Officers Command at Quantico, Virginia 1958-1960 and Public Affairs Officer, 6th Marine Corps District Atlanta 1966-1968. She served as commanding officer of women Marine companies at Norfolk and Camp Lejeune 1955-1958, followed as Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer of the Women Officers School in Quantico 1961-1963.

Margaret was Deputy Director of the Women Marines at the Headquarters of the Marine Corps 1968-1971, Director of Women Marines 1973-1977, Deputy Director of the Division of Information 1977-1978, Director of Information 1978-1979 and as Director of Public Affairs 1979-1980. Brig. Gen. Brewer retired from the Marine Corps in 1980 and had been awarded two Legion of Merit Medals and was the first woman Marine Corps one-star general. She was responsible in part for the creation of the National Museum of the Marine Corps and helped establish the Women in Military Service for American Memorial. Margaret served on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities of Arlington County, Virginia and on the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation board. Brewer died in Springfield, Virginia on January 2, 2013 at the age of 82.

Throughout her three decades of service to our Corps and country, she truly led from the front and helped the Marine Corps integrate women more fully into the force. She served during an era when many thought that women had no place in the Corps, but she proved critics wrong time and again. It's never easy being the first, but she was both the first female general officer and the first Director of Public Affairs and met the challenges and responsibilities of each with professionalism and grace.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos said in a statement following her death.