NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University is continuing its tradition of honoring those who served in the nation’s Armed Forces by recognizing a veteran during each home football game this season. Major Richard G. Hooter (US Army Retired) of Natchitoches was recognized during the Oct. 16th game.
Hooter was drafted in 1970 for service in Vietnam. There, he served with C Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry, 198th Infantry Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal). He was released from active duty in 1972 with the rank of Sergeant. MAJ Hooter then enrolled at Northwestern and joined NSU’s ROTC program. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1974. He was designated a Distinguished Military Graduate and commissioned in the Army Infantry Corps.
Hooter served twice as a Reconnaissance Platoon Leader, first, with B Company, 1st Battalion, 10th Infantry, then with Delta Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th US Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized). He also served as Combat Company Commander for the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.
His other assignments include Post Commander of Fort DeRussy Military Reservation, Honolulu, Hawaii; Director of Tactics, Missile and Munitions School, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama; Executive Officer for the 5th Recruiting Brigade, Little Rock, Arkansas; Executive Officer, 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and Director of Tactics, US Army Engineer School, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Hooter’s military schooling includes the Officer Basic Course, Fort Benning, Georgia; Officer Advanced Course, Fort Benning, Georgia; Personnel Management Course, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Indiana; Command and General Staff College; and Strategic Studies, US Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He also completed US Army Ranger, Airborne, and Pathfinder Schools, all located at Fort Benning, Georgia.
In addition to the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Hooter’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal for Valor, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon. His badges and tabs include the Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, and the Ranger Tab.
Hooter retired from the Army in 1992 and spends much of his spare time fishing in various Fishing League Worldwide tournaments. He has qualified for four All-Americans. He also mentors NSU’s ROTC Cadets and Cadre and is their devoted grill master. Major Hooter serves as the Marketing Officer for Northwestern’s Demon Regiment, the alumni arm of the NSU ROTC program. In March 2020, he was named to the Demon Regiment Hall of Fame.
Hooter and his wife, the former JoAnn Aamons, have been married 53 years and have lived in Natchitoches since 1993. Mrs. Hooter is a Natchitoches native and an NSU alumna. They have two sons, John and Philip, three grandchildren and two step grandchildren.