—8/30/16—CINCINNATI – The American Legion Auxiliary named U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Peggy C. Combs as its Woman of the Year for her exemplary leadership and positive impact on women, military servicemembers, and veterans.
Combs was recently promoted to Chief of Staff, NORAD/USNORTHCOM as a two-star general. She began her decorated military career as a distinguished military graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps Program at Syracuse University in 1985, as a commissioned officer in the United States Army Chemical Corps. The oldest of four children, Combs was the first in her family to attend college, supported by a four-year ROTC scholarship at Syracuse University where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree. She then earned her Master of Science Degree and a Master of Strategic Arts Degree.
Throughout her 31 years of military service, Combs has risen to become one of only 99 major generals on active duty in the U.S. Army. She has served in a variety of leadership and staff positions at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels at U.S. military installations from the Pentagon to Hawaii. She is also a veteran of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Given her demonstrated leadership, the U.S. Army selected Combs for command of Fort Knox and the U.S. Army Cadet Command in 2014, the first and only woman to be appointed to this position.
Her awards and decorations include the Army Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and the Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge.
Maj. Gen. Combs sets an outstanding example for aspiring women leaders, and shares her passion for service. “For me, soldiering is truly an affair of the heart,” she said. “It really is about a love of service, a love of our country and the respect and love for our brothers-and-sisters-in-arms who serve with the same heart of service and commitment.”
“Major General Peggy Combs’ service and achievements exemplify the spirit of ‘Duty, Honor and Country,’” said Sharon Conatser, 2015-2016 ALA National President.
Established in 1984, the ALA Woman of the Year Award recognizes outstanding women who exemplify the values and ideals of the American Legion Auxiliary, particularly those whose contributions advance the quality of life for America’s military, veterans, and their families. Past Woman of the Year honorees include former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy L. Duckworth, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Army Wife Talk Radio Host Tara Crooks, Patriot PAWS Founder Lori Stevens, and USAF Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson. To learn more about the Woman of the Year Award and the American Legion Auxiliary, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.
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