While Margaret "Peggy" Poore '86 was in officer candidate school in summer 1987, the Iran-Contra affair and Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North were making headlines. More than a decade later, while preparing for assignment to Germany, Poore heard a headline on the radio that eclipsed all other news during her military service. The date was Sept. 11, 2001.
"I think anyone who was in the military then will say that day was when they realized the military was where they needed to be at that time in their lives," Poore said. Once she saw the television images from the World Trade Center in New York, "I knew immediately we had been attacked and our world had changed."
Today, Poore is a brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force and senior military assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D.C. Her official U.S. Air Force biography states, "She has served as an executive officer, protocol officer, squadron section commander and has commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels. In addition to her current position, her staff tours include duty as a congressional liaison officer in the Secretary of the Air Force's Office of Legislative Liaison, several positions in the Air Force General Officer Matters Office, the executive officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff of Personnel, and the Director of Manpower and Personnel at Headquarters Air Combat Command. "
She is also the fourth generation of her family to serve in the military. "My father retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps, an uncle retired as a colonel in the Air Force, an uncle retired as a brigadier general in the Air Force, an uncle died in Vietnam, a grandfather retired as a colonel in the Army, a great-grandfather retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army, my brother is a colonel in the Air Force, a brother-in-law retired as a petty officer in the Navy," Poore said, adding with a smile that she could add many more names to the list.
The highlights of her military career are the opportunities she had to command and lead America's airmen. "I'm very proud of the time I spent in Afghanistan, where I was the commander of the 455th Expeditionary Mission Support Group at Bagram Airfield. Essentially I was the equivalent of a mayor or city manager for the Air Force camp there. I have served in the United States, Germany, Afghanistan and the Azores, part of Portugal."
The name Peggy Poore was well known on campus when she was a student at RU. She was named to the RU Sports Hall of Fame as a varsity soccer player.
"In my freshman year, women’s soccer was in its second year as a varsity sport. In my senior year, we were one of only 14 teams in the NCAA tournament. I also played club softball. Shortly after I graduated, softball became a varsity sport. I'd like to think my teammates and I paved the way for that."
Poore attributes her success as an athlete and a military officer to the same core values that the Air Force embraces: "Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do."
Her service to her country has been recognized many times. She is a recipient of the Legion of Merit (with two oak leaf clusters), Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medical, Meritorious Service Medal (with three oak leaf clusters), Air Force Commendation Medal (with one oak leaf cluster), Air Force Achievement Medal (with one oak leaf cluster), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (with four oak leaf clusters), Air Force Organizational Excellence Award (with one oak leaf cluster) and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
Poore said she has never given much thought to leaving a legacy. Rather, she hopes to be remembered as a fair and respected leader who made a difference in the lives of airmen.