Private Dawn R. Cochran enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in 1987 and served with 2nd Military Police Company, Pittsburgh PA for five years. During this time, she attended Penn State University, deployed to Desert Storm and attained the rank of Corporal as a Military Policeman. Upon graduating from Penn State with a Bachelors’ Degree in International Affairs in May 1993, Second Lieutenant Cochran was commissioned and attended The Basic School in Quantico, VA from Nov 1993-Apr 1994. She then attended the Intelligence Officers’ Course at Dam Neck, VA earning the Intelligence Officer 0202 MOS.
Upon graduation from Intelligence training, Second Lieutenant Alonso was assigned to the II MEF G-2 MAGTF All-Source Fusion Center where she served as an Analysis and Production Team Leader, as well as the Office in Charge. During this time, she deployed in support of several exercises to include Strong Resolve, Purple Star, Battle Griffin, and Unified Endeavor. In January 1998, Captain Alonso reported the MAGTF Intelligence Officers’ Course. Upon graduation, she was assigned to Central Command J-2 Operations Division as an Information Operations Planner. During this tour, she provided direct support to the J-3 Contingency Plans Branch as the Intelligence Support to Information Operations Liaison Officer.
From June 2001 to April 2003, Captain Alonso was assigned to 3d Intelligence Battalion in Okinawa, Japan. She served as the All-Source Platoon Commander and the Production and Analysis Company Commander. She participated in several exercises to Include Ulchi Focus Lens and Cobra Gold as well as ensured timely Intelligence support to contingency planning. Upon promotion, Major Alonso was assigned as the III MEF Staff Secretary for ten months in which she was responsible for administrative tasks in support of the Commanding General.
In April 2004, Major Alonso served as the S-2 for 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. During this time, the MEU participated in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM from Sept 2004-Feb 2005 in Al Anbar Province. 31st MEU also assisted in Civil Military Affairs operations in the southern Philippines while conducting humanitarian and disaster relief on Leyte Island in the wake of a mudslide. In August 2006, Major Alonso reported to the National Defense Intelligence College at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation, she earned a Masters’ Degree in Strategic Intelligence and was assigned as the Geospatial Intelligence Plans and Policy Branch Head at Intelligence Department, Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C.
In August 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Alonso reported to the I MEF G-2 where she served as the Operations Officer prior to being slated for Command at 1st Intelligence Battalion. While in Command, she deployed with the Battalion in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM from December 2011 to June 2012. During the deployment, she also assumed duties as the Regional Command Southwest C-2 Intelligence Support Coordinator. Following Command, she attended the Air War College at Maxwell, AFB, Alabama. Upon graduating, she reported to Headquarters Marine Corps and was assigned as the Senior Aide to the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Colonel Alonso reported to Central Command in May 2015 and served as the CENTCOM J2 Operations Division Chief until June 2017. During this tour, she also served as a Deputy J2 in support of Combined Joint Task Force, Operation INHERENT RESOLVE in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.