Magazine article Warrior - Citizen

Lucky 6

Magazine article Warrior - Citizen

Lucky 6

Article excerpt

FORT BRAGG, N.C. - It's no secret that earning your way into the Army's elite Airborne Corps requires strength, endurance and grit. It may be less well known that a sense of humor doesn't hurt, either.

For 23 years, Maj. Hope Gooch, an Army Reserve logistics officer for the 360th Civil Affairs Brigade endured the nickname "Five-Jump Chump."

As a cadet and a freshman at the University of Houston, Gooch graduated the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Ga., in 1989, earning her paratrooper wings with the minimum required five jumps before-through no fault of her own-her military career took her in a different direction. After graduation, Gooch received her commission with Air Defense as her basic branch and was assigned to a Patriot unit in Germany, a non-airborne unit. After nearly five years of active duty, and five more years in the Individual Ready Reserve, Gooch entered the Army Reserve as a logistics officer and was assigned to non-airborne units.

With excuses having a maximum effective range of zero, her fellow paratroopers had little sympathy upon discovering that she had not participated in a single airborne operation since graduation.

After two decades, Gooch finally got her big break.

"As luck would have it, there is this position. I knew it was an airborne unit," said Gooch.

With her supervisor's blessing, she joined the 360th Civil Affairs Brigade out of Fort Jackson, S.C., in 2012. As a 23-year veteran, the only retirement Gooch was planning for was the "Five-Jump Chump" moniker. …

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