She sat in the back of an undesirable office space with her eyes peering through a magnifying glass, garnering clues from an old photo. Minutes later, she ambled down the hall to let me know a water logged ceiling panel had just crashed to the floor, barely missing her head. She wasn’t worried about her safety; she wanted to protect the historical papers and pictures she was investigating! I immediately knew I wasn’t managing the average Volunteer.
Who is this special Volunteer? She is Colonel Marguerite J. Campbell, United States Marine Corps, Retired.
At the National Military Family Association, we call her Jackie!
She was commissioned in 1967 as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Yes, a FEMALE officer in the Marine Corps in the 60’s! It wasn’t an unusual choice for her to make – she had grown up the daughter of a USMC Master Sergeant. Her father was the first to salute her at her commissioning! Jackie never makes a big deal about being a female in what was, and still is, a predominately male world, but she does note that she had to ask the permission of her superiors to become a mother.
Here are some of the highlights of her fascinating career:
Jackie was an Administrative Officer.
She commanded the Women Marines of D-2 in 1974 and 1975.
She spent many years as the Protocol Officer at the United States European Command (EUCOM).
Jackie served two Joint Tours at the Pentagon and was the J2J5 Joint Specialty Officer for Colin Powell.
When you pop into her cubicle in our new office space, she might share some stories of famous military leaders and presidents she has come in contact with during her stellar career.
But that’s not all! She’s also a professional chef! After her retirement from the Corps in 1993, Jackie pursued another passion, and graduated from Johnson and Wales University. She worked as a caterer and chef for 10 years, and last week, she made a glorious 15 pound poached salmon for a special church event!
And if the Marine and chef experiences aren’t fascinating enough, just ask her about her husband (also a retired Marine), her three daughters, six granddaughters, two great grandchildren and seven cats! She beams with pride when speaking about her family.
In 2011, she was asked to sort, organize, and label photos and documents of our Association’s history. Three years later, Jackie has created a filing system for all of our history, and she continues to add to it. Jackie has logged almost 300 volunteer hours with our Association so far this year!
In a time when volunteerism is dwindling, Jackie is a rare gem. She volunteers diligently to preserve the history of the National Military Family Association. She also volunteers for the Armed Forces Hostess Association at the Pentagon.
Oh how I wish we could clone her!
Lets give a big “OORAH” to our retired Colonel, friend, and Volunteer Historian, Jackie Campbell!
Does a Volunteer you know have a special story? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!