2022 Tillman Scholar
Margo Darragh is a Marine Corps veteran who aspires to serve as a federal prosecutor and a voice for America’s working class. Originally from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she attended the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned as a Marine Corps officer in 2016. Margo soon found herself on the forefront of the Department of Defense’s integration of female service members into ground combat units when she became the first female combat engineer officer to serve as a platoon commander within the Marine Corps Ground Combat Element. She deployed with an infantry battalion aboard a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and subsequently reported to The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Virginia to serve as a Warfighting Instructor. For three years, she taught leadership, tactics, and decision-making to junior Marine Corps officers before beginning her transition out of the military.
While her years as a Marine Corps officer shaped Margo into the person she is today, it was her family that taught her the true meaning of service. Throughout her childhood, Margo witnessed her parents perform constant and selfless community service to families in their neighborhood. She realized that the richest communities are not defined by high incomes and beautiful homes, but instead by sincere people performing quiet acts of genuine service for their neighbors. This truth became even more evident when Margo began to process the impact that the opioid epidemic had on her greater community of family and friends. After closely following attempts to hold various entities accountable for their roles in fueling the opioid crisis—and armed with first-hand knowledge of the manipulation, tragedy, and dishonesty that enabled America’s addiction to oxycontin—Margo was driven to leave the Marine Corps and pursue a career in the legal profession that will enable her to advocate for the American communities of the future.