SPARS was the nickname for the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, created 23 November 1942 with the signing of Public Law 773 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The name is a contraction of the Coast Guard motto: Semper Paratus and its English translation, Always Ready. The name also refers to a spar in nautical usage.
Like the other women’s reserves, such as the Women’s Army Corps and the WAVES, it was created to free men from stateside service in order to fight overseas.
Captain Dorothy C. Stratton was the first director of the SPARS, and she is credited with creating the name for the organization. The Coast Guard closely followed the Navy WAVES model, with officer training at the Coast Guard Academy. Their goal was 1000 officers and 10,000 enlisted. 1,914 women were trained in boot camp at Hunter College's Bronx campus.
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Spar (WLB-206) was named after the SPARS