FT SHAFTER, HI --- The scent of fresh seafood in Tsukiji Fish Market & Restaurant in Honolulu, HI mingled in the air with dozens of conversations in the group, all centered on one person: Jacqueline "Jackie" Loo.
The occasion: a retirement party for Ms. Loo, who after 54 years of serving with the military as a Federal Employee, retired Jan. 14.
Ms. Loo was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. She began her Federal career in the fall of 1960 as a Clerk-Typist for the Communications Security Support Unit at Hickam Air Force Base, where she stayed until 1976. It wasn't long before her managerial and administrative skills led to her promotion to the Supply Clerk position with the 30th Signal Battalion S4, or Logistics, team.
During her time as a Supply Clerk, Ms. Loo was one of only a handful of women who had operated a forklift, and this unique skill lead to her next assignment as a truck driver.
"When I applied for the position in the warehouse, my interview went very well, but afterward the gentleman said 'I'm sorry but while you are the best qualified applicant, I will not be able to hire you.' I asked him why not, he replied, 'You are a woman, and this is a man's job.' I told him I would need his supervisor's information, as he was violating my civil rights," Ms. Loo said in reflection of a day nearly 50 years ago that will stand out in her mind forever. "Well, I got the job, and the rest is history."
In June of 1989, Ms. Loo was promoted to General Supply Specialist, and was appointed as the Property Book Officer of the 30th Sig. Bn. The 30th's relocation to Schofield Barracks in December of 1995 brought another promotion for Ms. Loo, still serving as a General Supply Specialist, at the 30th's new location on Schofield Barracks. It was there that Ms. Loo would spend the rest of her 54 years with the Army Signal Corps.
Ms. Loo's commitment to the Federal government became even more apparent during 1978 and 1979, while she served as Program Manager of the Hawaii Federal Women's Program. She continually sought ways to improve employment and advancement opportunities for women in the federal service, while removing policies and practices which had previously served as barriers for women.
Ms. Loo's willingness to help others is reflected outside of the workplace as well. In her spare time, she supported her community by donating 50 pints of blood to the Hawaii Blood Bank between February 1976 and May 1992.
Throughout her career, Ms. Loo has remained a determined, strong and principled individual who continuously contributes to the service of her country. She was awarded multiple special act and service awards, commander awards for civilian service, achievement awards, and most recently the Superior Civilian Service Award.
"Ms. Loo has seen it all in her career. From operating a forklift, loading and unloading equipment, managing equipment inventories the old fashioned way with typewriters, to using current technologies to include computer based applications such as Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced and other logistics and supply systems," said Laurie Manandic, a longtime coworker at the 30th Sig Bn. "I'd like to congratulate you on a remarkable career and thank you, from the bottom of our hearts."