Susan Gooch was born 17 March 1953 at Norfolk, Virginia. She graduated from Westminster High School in 1971 and began her federal career at the Social Security Administration. In August 1986, she became the Protocol Assistant for the Ordnance Center and School. In 1987, she became the Protocol Officer for the Ordnance Center and School Command Group. She served in this position until November 2003. During her tenure, she worked for 10 Chiefs of Ordnance.
Gooch planned, coordinated, and personally oversaw over 1,700 VIP visits to the Ordnance Center and School and became a recognized face due to these numerous high profile events. She developed comprehensive plans for over 500 official and social visits and functions by analyzing and coordinating the key aspects of each event. These visits and functions generally involved high ranking domestic and foreign military and civilian leaders to include the Secretary of the Army, General Officers, Senior Executive Service members, Congressmen, Governors, foreign dignitaries, national and local prominent business, educational, and community leaders.
She helped prepare, plan, and execute over 16 Annual Ordnance Week ceremonies and activities culminating each week with Ordnance Hall of Fame Ceremonies and Ordnance Balls. She became the resident expert on the planning and execution of these events. Susan worked tirelessly for months prior to the annual event in order to ensure all facets were covered. She effortlessly ensured the proper protocol procedures were followed for the numerous events for the week to include seating arrangements for all of the meetings and the Ordnance Ball and Parade. This task alone took days and had to be redone several times due to additions and deletions from the attendee list. Mrs. Gooch also meticulously planned events for the spouses and included tours of local attractions and the popular "wives tour." Gooch always gave her all often working numerous uncompensated hours.
Gooch planned, coordinated, and oversaw 100 conferences hosted by the Chief of Ordnance. She made arrangements associated with the conferences to include lodging, transportation, official photos, escort duties and social functions coordinating extensively with all members of the staff to ensure these conferences were well executed.
She was the ultimate team player. She assisted in taking over 6,200 phone calls, an average of 177 calls per day in support of the Army's Sexual Misconduct Hotline for 35 straight days. She could also be found in the Commanding General's Office and Assistant Commandant's Office, or any other office within the School that was shorthanded and in need of assistance. No task too small for her.
Gooch maintained open communications with the active and retired Ordnance community. She provided critical expertise and continuity to the Command Group and Commanding General's personal staff, mentoring many staff members to ensure events were conducted in accordance with the highest standard that has become associated with the Ordnance Corps. Her loyalty and devotion to the Ordnance Center and Schools and to the United States Army Ordnance Corps was always clearly evident. Susan Gooch retired in 2008 after 34 years of dedicated federal government service.