Monica “Moose” Marusceac
After graduating from Cornell University in 2001 and working at the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 attack, Monica joined the United States Marines, and served as the second female AV-8B Harrier jet pilot to deploy into combat.
While flying with the VMA-513 Nightmares and VMA-214 Black Sheep squadrons, Monica served as the Subject Matter Expert on Laser Guided Bombs, the GAU-12 Gun, and the
Lightening Pod. Monica deployed to Iraq, flying close air support missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to the Gulf of Aden where she flew sea-patrol missions in support of counter-piracy operations. In fact, Monica flew during the rescue of Captain Phillips, commander of the Maersk Alabama, providing on-call close air support during that event.
After her flying tour, Monica served as an instructor at Naval Base Coronado, where she trained senior Naval and Marine officers and their staff in Crisis Action Planning prior to their 7-month sea-deployments. Monica’s final tour as an active duty Marine Major was at the Pentagon, where she served as a Program Analyst. During that time, she also applied to the White House Fellowship program and advanced to the Regional Finals in Washington, DC. She currently serves at the Pentagon, once again, only this time in the Marine Reserves.
As a young girl, Monica had dreamed of achieving two things when she grew up: flying military jets and becoming a doctor. So, while her twenties were all about flying jets, she decided to dedicate her thirties to becoming a healer. After more than a decade as a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier jet pilot, Monica left active duty service and transitioned careers to pursue that dream, founding a wellness center in McLean, VA, where she and her staff help clients overcome the mental, emotional and physical roadblocks to success in life, whatever the client’s goals might be.
Never one to turn down a challenge, especially one that involves aviation, Monica jumped at the opportunity to join Nalls Aviation in 2014 when Art and Pat invited her to explore the amazing opportunity of flying the world’s only, civilian-owned Harrier jet. She is an active member of the team and thoroughly enjoys spending weekends at St. Mary’s County Regional Airport with the Sea Harrier Team, her husband, retired Marine Major Ramzy Ayachi, and their son, Alexander. Monica is also an avid scuba diver and dog-lover. She and Ramzy own two massive Siberian Huskies named Balto and Hank, and one feisty Australian Kelpie named Pablo.
Monica has nearly 1000 hours in multiple aircraft, including over 500 hours in the AV-8B Harrier and two shipboard deployments. She also has flight time in the L-39 Albatross, T-45A Goshawk, T-34C Turbo Mentor, Cirrus SR-20 and SR-22, DA-40 Diamond, BL-8 Super Decathalon, and the L-4 Piper Cub.