Some 10,000 women joined the Coast Guard auxiliary between 1942 and 1946, including Cleveland high school teacher Nida Glick. Glick would remain in the service for decades, a stalwart of the Coast Guard Reserve.
Like its sister services, the Coast Guard created a women's reserve in the early 1940s — the SPARS — to free up men for overseas combat duty. Most SPAR officer candidates — more than 700 in all — trained at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., making them the first women to attend a military academy. A six-week indoctrination immersed them in Coast Guard lore, tradition, and knowledge, while two experienced women officers taught practical leadership and administrative skills.
After their first few weeks, Glick and her classmates were issued their seabags, and later sent to their first assignments in their six-gored serge skirts, four-button blouses, and officer's "boats" (hats). Because of her training and facility with languages — Glick grew up speaking German and added Russian, French, and Spanish while earning a master’s degree in languages — she was assigned to naval intelligence in Washington, D.C. During her three years of active duty, she also managed a ship’s service station in North Carolina and explained the G.I. Bill to returning servicemen in New York.
But when Glick and her fellow SPARS reached end of their service commitment on June 30, 1946, Glick remained with the Coast Guard Reserve. She returned to teaching, eventually becoming head of her department at Lincoln High School, but continued to serve the Coast Guard in numerous ways. She was an Ohio personnel officer and helped to establish the Officers’ Club in Cleveland, but her influence was national. She founded an in-house Coast Guard newspaper that was read throughout the country, and held the posts of vice president of the Reserve Officers Association and program director of the Reserve Officers of the Naval Services.
On her death in 1996, Lt. Cmdr. Glick was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.