Chapter President Karla Jessup Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
Karla Jessup joined the Women Marines Association and our chapter last year after retiring in 2011 from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel. She hails from the great State of Oklahoma and graduated Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1986 with a B.S. degree in mathematics.
Karla joined the Marine Corps and attended the Officer Candidate School (OCS) in October 1987; however, during her training she was injured with a stress fracture and was ordered home a month later. She returned to OCS in June 1988, completed her training, was commissioned a second lieutenant, and subsequently ordered to attend The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, VA in August 1988. Following TBS, Karla attended the Military Police Basic Officer Course at Lackland AFB, Texas.
During her 24-year Marine Corps career, Karla has served in numerous command and staff assignments and at myriad duty stations, including several deployments to Southwest Asia (SWA), Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan which included deployment as an Individual Augment with II Marine Expeditionary Force ll (ll MEF) as the ATPF Officer and/JPEC Direction ISO Operation Iraqi Freedom (2008-2009). Additionally, she qualified as a Joint Staff Officer after completing the Joint Professional Military Education ll Course in 2005.
Serving two tours at Parris Island (1992-1995 and 2006-2008), Karla was assigned as a Series Commander 4th Recruit Training Battalion (4thRTBn), 1992, an Assistant S-4 Officer with the Recruit Training Regiment, and then Commanding Officer of November Company (1994). She returned to Parris Island in 2006 serving in the G-3 Depot Operations before being assigned as the Commanding officer of the 4th RTBn.
Other tours of duty included MCAS, Miramar as the Deputy Provost Marshal and Operations Officer (1996-1999); Houston, TX as the Recruiting Station Commanding Officer (199-2002); U.S. Central Command, Tampa, FL as Branch Chief, Detainee Affairs, Joint Security Directorate (2003-2006) resulting in several deployments noted above. She has also served as the Provost Marshal, MCB Kaneohe, HI (2008) followed by deployment with ll MEF as the ATFP Officer/JPEC Direction ISO Operation Iraqi Freedom Nov 2008-Nov 2009). Her final assignment was as the Provost Marshal, MCB, Kaneohe, HI. (2009-2011). Karla has also attended the Amphibious Warfare School,(1995-1996) the FBI Academy (1997), and the Command and Staff College (2002-2003).
Chapter Vice President Brenda Hockenhull U.S. Marine Corps
Brenda Hockenhull joined the Marine Corps in June 1971 after graduating high school in Fort Fairfield, Maine. After recruit training, she was the first woman Marine to complete the Test Instrument Repair Course and was assigned the MOS 2871, Field Test Equipment Repair. After 5 years and a short stint at Lowrey AFB in Denver, her MOS was upgraded to 2874, Calibration Technician. Her duty stations included Parris Island, SC; Twenty-nine Palms, CA; Albany, GA; and Barstow, CA.
Interestingly, Brenda's chosen sport while in the Marine Corps was competitive shooting, and she was among the last of the women Marines who were forbidden to participate in a Divisional competition because she was female. Upon completing twenty years of active service, Brenda retired in 1991 as a Gunnery Sergeant.
Today she is an assisting pastor at a Foursquare church in Lake Forest, CA, having earned two Masters of Divinity and one Ph.D. in Biblical Studies, majoring in the Old Testament. She presently serves as the Pastor of Pastoral Care and Discipleship.
Of the four members in her nuclear family, she says only her father was never in the service (her father was a farmer during WWII, and because of their value to the nation, farmers were not drafted into military service). Brenda's mother was in the Army (Signal Corps) during WWII, her brother served in the National Guard during Vietnam, and Brenda enlisted during the Vietnam Era. Brenda wears her mother's dog tag when she attends the Chapter CA-7 meetings in memory of her.
Chapter Secretary Lillian "Lee" Tusa Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps (Prior Service)
"Lee" joined the Marine Corps Reserves in May 1952 and began active duty immediately. Following a brief assignment at Headquarters, Dept. of Pacific, San Francisco, she was transferred to Camp Pendleton Headquarters Battalion Legal Office. On completion of Admin School (Camp Del Mar) and Yeoman "B" School (N.T.C. San Diego), "Lee" was promoted to Corporal and assigned to Base Legal Office at Camp Pendleton. On release of active duty in May of 1954, she started a family and is the proud mother of one son and three daughters all of whom reside in Southern California.
After graduation from Palomar College in 1968, "Lee" studied Public Admin at San Diego State. She was employed for some 50 years in public and private sectors, retiring in 1988 as Superior Court Clerk, County of San Diego. From 1989 to 1997, she returned to work at the court as an employee of an independent contractor. For the past 18 years, she has worked as a volunteer in the District Attorney's Victim Assistance Program.
Chapter Treasurer Lillian "Lil" Cross U.S. Marine Corps (Prior Service)
Born in San Bernardino, California, Lillian graduated high school in Las Vegas, Nevada, attended Nevada Southern University (now UNLV) and joined the Marine Corps in 1967. She was assigned the administrative field. Marrying her husband in 1970, she left the Marine Corps to raise her family. She re-entered the civilian work force in 1977 and eventually found employment at the Department of Motor Vehicles. After 22 years, she retired in 2000 as a manager.
Lil joined WMA and the chapter as a life member in 1994 and has served the chapter in every office except secretary. She served WMA as area director 10 and is currently serving as the WMA Headquarters Manager and Document Curator and Property Control.
Chapter Past President Nancy Arroyoavila Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
Nancy entered the Marine Corps in May of 1985 in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating boot camp as a Lance Corporal, she attended Personnel Administrative School at Camp Johnson. Upon graduating as an 0151, Nancy was assigned to the H&SBn Administrative Shop. Nancy was then transferred to the SNCO Academy aboard Camp Johnson where she served in the billet of Administrative Chief and was meritoriously promoted to Corporal. After serving in this billet for 2 years, Nancy was meritoriously promoted to Sergeant and selected to start up the first Financial Management School at Camp Johnson, again filling the billet of Administrative Chief. While stationed at Camp Johnson, Nancy was married and had the first of 2 children. In 1990, Nancy transferred to Parris Island where she served on General Staff as the Administrative Chief for the AC/S Recruiting. While stationed at Parris Island, Nancy gave birth to her second child. In 1992 Nancy attended Recruiters School and was subsequently sent to 6th Marine Corps District, serving as a Recruiter at PCS Thomasville, Ga. Nancy was then transferred to the billet of MEPS Liaison for the District and finally was selected to be the first female in the 6th Marine Corps District to be a NCOIC of a Multi-Man Recruiting Station. After successfully completing Recruiting Duty, Nancy transferred to the west coast and served with 1st LSB, HMLA-169, MAG-39, in the billet of Administrative Chief. Nancy, now a Gunnery Sergeant, was again transferred to Parris Island where she served as the Administrative Chief for Headquarters 6th Marine Corps District. After two years, Nancy returned to the west coast and was assigned as an Administrative Chief, Headquarters, 1st FSSG, and later was assigned as the Director of Leadership Training for the 1st FSSG. In 2003 Nancy deployed to Iraq in support of OIF. In 2005 Nancy retired from the Marine Corps. Upon retirement Nancy became a Professional Business Coach until 2010 when she joined SDG&E as a Corporate Trainer and later was promoted to the position of Field Supervisor. Nancy's military awards include a Meritorious Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal w/1 Silver Star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/1 Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (Iraqi Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/1 Star, and a National Defense Service Medal w/1 Star.