WEST HARTFORD — Captain Heidi-Anne (Aloise) Mooney, United States Marine Corps, 1994-1999, will be the guest speaker for the 2020 Veterans Day Ceremony. The ceremony will be held Nov. 11, at 11 a.m., at the Connecticut Veterans Memorial in West Hartford, according to an email from organizers.
Mooney grew up Bedford, N.Y. about 45 minutes from New York City. She attended the University of Colorado, Boulder and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Conservation. As a member of the University’s Naval ROTC program she applied to switch to the Marine Corps option at the end of her Junior year with a presidential approval to switch. She originally had not considered the Marines as they had blocked women from serving in Combat Arm positions. With that block lifted in 1993, Mooney requested the switch from Navy to Marine Corps and received one of six presidential switchovers granted that year, In her senior year of college had to make up all her missing Marine classes, graduate, and then attend Officer Candidate School before receiving her commission as a Marine Corps Officer in 1994
After receiving her commission, Mooney completed The Basic School and was selected as a Combat Engineer Officer and reported to Camp Le Jeune for Engineer School. In Sept. 1995 she left for Okinawa, Japan as the 2nd female Combat Engineer officer. She served at 9th Engineer Support Battalion as a Platoon Commander and then as Battalion XO, traveling to South Korea and other areas in Southwest Asia for host nation support engineering and de-mining projects in Cambodia, Laos and other countries.
Mooney was then transferred to MCAS El Toro, CA as the G-4 Engineer Officer and HazMat Officer helping manage engineering projects in 29 Palms, MCAS Tustin, Camp Pendleton and MCAS Miramar. As Engineer Officer for 3rd MAW, she supported Base Realignment and Closure of two air bases in Orange County. She was selected as the Protocol Officer covering the two 3rd MAW generals and stayed in that role through the base closure and then opening of MCAS Miramar, San Diego, CA.
Mooney also served as the 3rd MAW Semper Fit Officer for El Toro, Tustin and Miramar while creating program development for the entire West Coast, working with the Wing Surgeon and other medical leaders to create a comprehensive health program for Marines to evaluate seven areas of health and wellness, including Mental Health, which earned her a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. She also became a personal trainer and Health Promotion Coach and worked for MWR in the early mornings. Her other medals, citations and campaign ribbons are: National Defense Service Medal, Certificates of Commendation (2), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Letters of Appreciation from the Commandant of the Marine Corps (2).
Mooney moved to West Hartford in 2019 after 23 years in California to be closer to her family. She has a daughter at Conard and a son at Sedgewick. She is an active volunteer in West Hartford’s Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Calvary Fellowship Church, and American Legion Post 96.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place individuals attending the ceremony will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing. If the weather on Nov. 11 is inclement the ceremony will not be moved indoors but will be canceled.
The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.
The American Legion Post 96 of West Hartford has been serving our Veterans and Community since 1922 and is open to all military veterans who have served honorably and military personnel currently on active duty. Further information is available at www.post96.org or by contacting the Post at: Hayes-Velhage Post 96, P.O. Box 370160, West Hartford, or call 860-233-9029.