Coast Guard to celebrate 80th SPARS anniversary at Houston event

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard is slated to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Coast Guard SPARS and the establishment of a local chapter of the Coast Guard Women’s Leadership Initiative during a ceremony in Houston, Friday.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Carola List, assistant commandant for Engineering & Logistics, will serve as guest speaker during the ceremony.

Shirley Reagor, 102-year-old original member of the SPARS and Houston resident, is also scheduled to attend the event. Reagor served in the Coast Guard from 1943 to 1946 as a seaman, mostly stationed along Florida’s Atlantic coast.

During the ceremony, a representative from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s office will present Reagor with a certificate of appreciation. Representatives from the Galveston Naval Museum will also recognize Reagor’s service.

Established on Nov. 23, 1942, the SPARS (Semper Paratus, Always Ready) was the women’s branch of the Coast Guard Reserve. More than 10,000 women volunteered as enlisted members and officers from 1942 to 1946, mainly filling shoreside positions to allow male Coast Guardsmen to fight overseas during World War II.

The mission of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Women’s Leadership Initiative is to support professional development and create mentorship opportunities for Coast Guard women in the service and beyond. WLI chapters offer individual scholarships, networking events, mentoring programs and program support awards for Coast Guard members.

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