Joshua C. Hooper was born in Claiborne, Tennessee, in 1952 and joined the Army in 1972. He spent the first 17 years of his career in the 82nd Airborne Division. A series of developmental assignments prepared Hooper for his capstone assignment as the Ordnance Corps Regimental Command Sergeant Major. These development assignments were: Mechanic, 2/231st Field Artillery Battalion; Motor Sergeant and Platoon Sergeant, 2/325th Infantry Battalion; Maintenance NCO, 2nd Brigade S4 Shop; Motor Sergeant and Platoon Sergeant, E Company, 782nd Maintenance Battalion; and finally, from 1985 to 1989, back-to-back First Sergeant tours with C and D Company, 782nd Maintenance Battalion.
In 1990, Hooper graduated from the US Army Sergeants Major Academy and successfully completed a number of challenging assignments as Command Sergeant Major. From 1990 to 1991, he was Command Sergeant Major, 125th Forward Support Battalion, 1st Armored Division, Bamberg, Germany. During this assignment, his battalion deployed to Southwest Asia with the Division for Operation Desert Storm. Next, he served first as Command Sergeant Major, 3rd Forward Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany, from 1991 to 1993; then as Command Sergeant Major, 101st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas, from 1993 to 1996; and finally as Command Sergeant Major, 13th Corps Support Command, Fort Hood, Texas, from 1996 to 1997.
In 1997, Hooper was selected as the Ordnance Corps Regimental Command Sergeant Major at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Calling upon his vast experience as an Ordnance field soldier, he set about to improve the training received by Ordnance Soldiers at training sites located throughout the country. He was instrumental in the development of the Multicapable Maintainer specialties for the M-1 Abrams Tank and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. In addition, he played an active role in developing instruction at the Advanced Individual Training and noncommissioned officer levels for the 63B Light Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic specialty.
As the custodian of the Ordnance Corps' Noncommissioned Officer Academies at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Hooper also played an integral role in developing the new Phase I training curriculum. Under his watch, both academies were accredited by the US Army Sergeants Major Academy on their first inspection, with no deficiencies noted.
During quarterly Military Occupational Specialty Reviews, Hooper recommended solutions to problems in soldier accessions, academic attrition, and retention. Likewise, he carefully monitored critical specialties to ensure that Ordnance Soldiers were distributed as equitably as possible throughout the Army.
Hooper was also actively involved in the Ordnance Center and School's Outreach and Home Town Recruiter Assistance Programs, providing Soldiers, resources, and equipment for displays, demonstrations, and job fairs. Of most significance, he never lost sight of his field soldier background, making frequent visits to the field in places like the Balkans and regularly observing training at the Army's training centers.
Command Sergeant Major Hooper retired in 1999 after 28 years of dedicated service to the Army and the Ordnance Corps.