Born on the 1st of April 1916 in Darlington, Wisconsin, Ruth Gallivan enlisted in the Marine Corps Women Reserve in 1943. After boot camp and a brief stint at Cherry Point, North Carolina, Ruth volunteered for duty supporting MAG 15, a transport and training unit at Naval Air Station, Miramar, CA. There she worked with her fellow Waves to open the first women's barracks at Miramar. After an honorable discharged from the Marines at the end of World War II, Ruth remained as a civil servant supporting the military effort in San Diego at Miramar until she transferred to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego where she retired at the age of 70. After her military career Ruth was a pivotal force in the Women Marines Association in San Diego. She was elected to every major and minor office. She volunteered and served in Associated Arts and The Retired Officers Association (TROA). During her 73 years of residence in San Diego, Ruth has resided in and improved the communities of Banker's Hill, North Park, Coronado, Chula Vista, Pacific Beach and finally settling in Mission Village. She still helps with the community newspaper and makes special appearances at local schools on Veteran's Day.
Ruth participated in, the May 3, 2015 Honor Flight from San Diego, CA to Washington, D.C.
Ruth has served 10 years as the President of the San Diego County Chapter of the Women Marines Association in the course of its history.