Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

First female Marine Corps general dies

Jan. 8, 2013 - 07:57PM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 8, 2013 - 07:57PM  |  
Brig. Gen. Margaret A. Brewer
Brig. Gen. Margaret A. Brewer (Military Times Hall of Valor)
  • Filed Under

The Marine Corps lost one of its pioneering women last week with the passing of retired Brig. Gen. Margaret A. Brewer.

Brewer, 82, died Jan. 2, the Catholic Herald, the official newspaper for the Roman Catholic archdiocese in Arlington, Va., announced Jan. 7.

Brewer became the first female Marine general officer when she was appointed to the rank of brigadier general in 1978. She retired in 1980, ending a career that began with her 1952 commissioning into the Marine Corps Reserve.

The Marine Corps commandant called http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=48146">Brewer "an amazing and courageous woman who left an indelible mark on the rich legacy of our Corps."

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss," Gen. Jim Amos said in a statement. "Throughout her 30 years 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," Amos said.

"It's never easy being the first."

When she rose to the general officer rank, Brewer was serving as the Corps' deputy director of information, according to her official biography. In 1979, she became the Corps' first director of public affairs with a restructuring of the information division, "and met the challenges and responsibilities of each with professionalism and grace," Amos said.

Brewer served at a time when women were a small percentage of the overall Marine Corps, but throughout her career, she served in positions of responsibility and leadership.

Her first assignment was as a communications watch officer at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, Calif., according to her biography. In the next decade, she served as inspector-instructor of a women's reserve unit in Brooklyn, N.Y.; commander of women Marine companies in Norfolk, Va., and Camp Lejeune, N.C.; platoon commander for women officer candidates during summer training in Quantico, Va.; and woman officer selection officer in Lexington, Ky. In 1963, as a major, she served as the executive officer and then commanding officer of the Woman Officer School in Quantico. She later went on to serve as director of Women Marines in 1973.

Several years after Brewer pinned on the rank of brigadier general, another female officer, then-Col. Gail M. Reals, in 1985 became the first woman chosen by a Marine Corps promotion selection board for the rank of brigadier general.

In recent years, Brewer served as a lector at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, where she was a parishioner and was active in Catholic Charities, according to the diocese.

A funeral Mass will be held Jan. 14 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, with burial following at Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, the diocese announced.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

Left behind
Without security, without citizenship, interpreters are exposed to death squads

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        Apr 23, 2014 4:14 PM
   Last Post: Stalwart
        Apr 23, 2014 12:27 PM
San Antonio shooting
(10 replies)
   Last Post: Measure Man
        Apr 22, 2014 3:34 PM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook