Reservist

ISS2 2017

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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A candid photograph captured on board a cutter by Coast Guard public affairs specialist in 1945. Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard Manhattan Beach Training Center to begin boot camp. For six weeks, Hooker rose every morning at 5:00 a.m. and exercised for an hour before breakfast. Each day of training included chores, physical training and classes. She completed basic training in April and, for nine more weeks, she attended the Coast Guard's yeoman school at Manhattan Beach. After completing her training, Yeoman 1st class Hooker received orders to Coast Guard Personnel Separation Center #1 located in Boston. While there, she spent most of her time preparing discharges for the numerous Coast Guardsmen returning from the war and re-joining civilian life. In 1994, Hooker recounted to a public affairs specialist processing an eighteen year-old out of the Service. On D-Day, the boy came under heavy fire during the Normandy landings and, for several hours, laid under a pile of dead bodies for cover. Hooker commented, "He made the war seem very real to me." Hooker served at the Boston separation center into 1946 and advanced to yeoman 2nd class. By mid-1946, most wartime Coast Guardsmen had been processed out of the Service. The Coast Guard disbanded the SPARs and Yeoman 2nd class Hooker typed up her own discharge papers. Using her GI Bill benefits, she earned a masters degree in psychology from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Rochester. By the early 1960's, Hooker began a career as a psychologist and a professor of psychology at New York's Fordham University. She also served as a member of the Kennedy Child Study Center in the Bronx. In 2002, she retired at the age of eighty-seven after a long career in education and mental health care. Throughout her life, Hooker has been a leader in civic, community, cultural and educational organizations, including the NAACP, her local White Plains Child Daycare Association and Westchester Visiting Nurse Services, and several other organizations. She has also served as a consultant on minority issues at Fordham University and as youth counselor and certified lay speaker in the United Methodist Church. In 2014, Dr. Hooker expressed her philosophy toward life: "It's not about you or me; it's about what we can give to this world." Dr. Olivia J. Hooker has been a pioneer in the history of women and minorities in the Coast Guard and the nation. She believes that her military service taught her "a lot about order and priorities" and "how to better form relationships, and how to deal with people without bias and prejudice." Despite experiencing hatred and racism in her youth, she has dedicated her life to serving the needs of her community and her nation. Now, at the age of 101 years old, Olivia Hooker remains an example of the Service's core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty. � "She is to be admired for her initiative and courage. Solely on the basis of qualifications, Miss Hooker is one of the most outstanding young women ever accepted for the SPARs and it is a pleasure to recommend her." — Lt. Margaret Tighe (SPAR Recruiter, 1945) Issue 2 • 2017 � RESERVIST 31

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