“The world is one large landscape of opportunity.”
But Margaret Boor didn’t know that as a child growing up in DeFuniak Springs, FL. In fact, she recalls that girls her age only saw a few choices for their futures: graduate from high school, get married, have children, and maybe become a teacher or a nurse.
“When I was growing up, it was unheard of to think of being a female general officer,” Boor told a classroom of 5th-grade girls at West DeFuniak Elementary.
But that was before Boor began her 35-year career in the United States Army. And now, as a major general working at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Boor dedicates some of her free time to educating the children of her hometown about the opportunities available to them.
“Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know,” Boor told the students. “I grew up in DeFuniak and I didn’t know about opportunities. I discovered them after I left DeFuniak and I got into the world…”
Boor encouraged the girls to start focusing on who they want to be in the future. Specifically, she encouraged the girls to identify a mentor and a role model whose attributes they want to emulate and who will help shape them into the women they want to become.
During her visit, Boor also shared the Soldier’s Creed with the students and explained how the rules included in the creed apply to everything in life – not only to her and her fellow soldiers. For example, while her role as a soldier requires her to place her Army mission first, Boor explained to the girls that they have a mission as well: to do their very best in school and be the best daughters they can be at home. She also reminded them to never quit and to never accept defeat. “Quitting is easy,” Boor told the girls. “It’s much harder to work through something tough.”
She challenged the girls to become lifelong learners, saying that they should consciously learn something every day.
She also explained to the girls that, though we may not always recognize how much we have, “America is the greatest country in the world.” She spoke of our freedoms, and the opportunities we have available to us. And she challenged the girls to give back. “As citizens, we need to contribute to each other, we need to contribute to our communities, and we need to contribute to our country.”
One of the 5th grade girls said Boor gave her a lot of good information. “She was very inspiring. She built my confidence about being a girl in DeFuniak Springs.”
Boor is currently the Deputy Director for Logistics Operations, the Joint Staff, at the Pentagon. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1980 after serving three years as an enlisted Soldier. She began her Army Reserve career in 1984. She graduated from the Army War College in 2004, earning a master's degree in strategic studies.
Her awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with two silver leaves and the Army Commendation Medal with silver leaf. She also earned the Senior Parachutist Badge.