Saturday, July 24, 2010
Guardian of the Week – LCDR Elizabeth Booker
by: Dan Bender
The pressures of military service can exacerbate the unique challenges women face, especially motherhood. Our Guardian of the Week has worked tirelessly as a leader and mentor to bring awareness to these areas within the Coast Guard aviation community.
Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth Booker is frequently called on by senior aviators for advice on balancing the needs of the Coast Guard with women’s issues said Capt. Steven Reynolds, chief of Officer Personnel Management and Booker’s previous supervisor.
“Lieutenant Commander Booker is leading the charge for educating the Coast Guard on issues faced by female aviators and crewmembers,” he said. ”If I could have a hundred of her I would. The Coast Guard would be a better place.”
She has spent a lot of time bringing light to women’s issues by organizing conference participation, coordinating surveys to identify areas for improvement and spending countless hours mentoring and counseling members both on and off duty. But her greatest contribution is likely a book she authored unofficially known as “The Mom Book.”
All new Coast Guard moms in the aviation community receive a copy. It’s a simple but powerful collection of stories about aviation and pregnancy as told by their fellow female fliers. “It definitely gave me good perspective on the way other pilots approached motherhood,” said Lt. Laura Holveck, a pilot at Air Station Atlantic City, N.J. “Having lots of different opinions helped me form my own.”
Holveck has shared the book with friends of her own who have contemplated pregnancy.
“Everyone agrees that the book is a nice tool,” she said. “She’s very helpful and has a strong voice. We appreciate her being an advocate for the female pilots behind her.”
Now the operations boss at Air Station Los Angeles, Booker is already impressing her new command.
“She’s incredibly motivated,” said Cmdr. William Sasser, executive officer at the air station.
Her story is even more inspirational considering what she has done to get where she is today.
After earning a GED, Booker enlisted and entered the service as a humble non-rate and went on to earn her college degree, accede into the officer corps and eventually study at Harvard said Sasser.
“It just shows how hard work pays off,” he said.
Thank you for your service Lt. Cmdr. Your contributions have affected more Coast Guard families than you will likely ever know. Bravo Zulu!