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n. (plural of spar English) vb. (en-third-person singular of: spar)

For the various meanings of "spar", see Spar (disambiguation).''

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) Women's Reserve, better known by the acronym SPARS, was the World War II women's branch of the USCG Reserve. It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by the President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 23 November 1942. This authorized the acceptance of women into the reserve as commissioned officers and at the enlisted level, effective for the duration of the war plus six months. The purpose of the law was to release officers and men for sea duty and to replace them with women at shore stations. Dorothy C. Stratton was appointed director of the Women's Reserve (SPARS), with the rank of lieutenant commander and was later promoted to captain. She had been the Dean of Women on leave from Purdue University, and an officer in The United States Naval Reserve (Women's Reserve), better known under the acronym WAVES for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. Stratton is credited with creating the nautical name of SPARS.

The age for officer candidates was between 20 and 50; they had to have a college degree, or two years of college and two years of professional or business experience. The enlisted age requirements were between 20 and 36; candidates had to have completed at least two years of high school. For the most part, SPARS were white, but five African-Americans did eventually serve. The agreement between the U.S. Navy and the USCG required that officer candidates receive their indoctrination training at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. But in June 1943, the USCG withdrew from the agreement, and the indoctrination of SPAR officer candidates was transferred to the USCG Academy at New London, Connecticut. Most SPAR officers were general duty officers, but some officers received specialized training.

At first, according to agreement, the SPARS enlisted personnel received their indoctrination training on college campuses operated for such by the U.S. Navy. In March 1943, the USCG decided to establish its own training center for the indoctrination of enlisted recruits. The site selected was the Palm Beach Biltmore Hotel, Palm Beach, Florida. Beginning in late June, all enlisted personnel received their indoctrination and specialized training there. Some 70 percent of the enlisted women who received recruit training also received some specialized training. Yeoman and storekeepers represented the largest share, but many SPARS were given the opportunity to train in other fields. In January 1945, the training of enlisted personnel was transferred from Palm Beach to Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York.

The SPARS were assigned to every USCG district except Puerto Rico, and served in Hawaii and Alaska as well. Most officers held general duty billets, which included administrative and supervisory assignments. Others served as communication officers, supply officers, barracks, and recruiting officers. The bulk of the enlisted women performed clerical and stenographic duties. In smaller numbers, the enlisted personnel were found in practically every other billet, from baking pies to rigging parachutes and driving jeeps. A select group of SPAR officers and enlisted personnel were also assigned to work with the Long Range Aid to Navigation at monitoring stations in the Continental United States. Better known under the acronym LORAN, it was a top-secret radio navigation system developed for ships at sea and long-range aircraft. The first monitoring station staffed by SPARS was at Chatham, Massachusetts. Chatham is believed to have been (at the time) the only all female-staffed station of its kind in the world. The SPARS peak strength was approximately 11,000 officers and enlisted personnel. Commodore J. A. Hirschfield, USCG, said the SPARS volunteered for duty when their country needed them, and they did their jobs with enthusiasm, efficiency, and with a minimum of fanfare. To honor the SPARS, two USCG cutters were given their name.

Usage examples of "spars".

Above the rooftops, where lines of washing were hanging, he could just make out the distant spars of ships at the quays.

At last he made out the cross-shaped spars of topmasts-certainly there were two three-masted vessels engaged in close conflict, and one of them was considerably larger than the other.

Now the ropes hung loosely from the spars and canvas limply from the yards.

Enough wreckage had washed ashore so a rude lean-to had been fashioned from sails and broken spars, but the wood that had drifted ashore from the ship was too wet to do more than smolder on the fire.

Reaching the end of the spars where the others waited, they passed along the burning brands, which were touched to the surface of the buckets of pitch.

Only their claws and thick chiv enabled them to hold their footing on the icy spars above.

Once more Ethan marveled at the ability of the Tran sailors, who constantly had to set, adjust, and take in sails while walking on narrow spars in a perpetual gale.

While their sharp chiv would give good purchase on the wooden spars and masts of a ship, they would only slide on smooth rock.

None had fallen, though for several minutes a couple of those in the highest spars hung from a paw or two before regaining their footing.

As soon as it cleared the outermost pier, the spars would shift and the westwind would fill the sails from behind.

The crew had to struggle with lines and spars to swing the icerigger safely around the twisting walls.

Below me, or at least in the direction of my feet, the ship seemed a dwindling continent of silver, her black masts and spars as slender as the horns of crickets.

Sophie, we laid out five hawsers an-end with our best bower firm in gritty ooze to warp the frigate out in case the high battery should knock any spars away, stood in before dawn with a moderate NNE breeze and began hammering the batteries guarding the entrance.

A spectacular but a lucky one, a direct plunge on the roll that sent him clear of spars and ropes into the sea, from which he was fished with no trouble of any kind.

The higher spars were bending like coach-whips, just this side of carrying away.