Charlie Co. is definitely a family. We're here to make friends and support one another, and trust us when we say every single member welcomes new recruits with open arms! As you can see we are assigned ranks to not only incorporate a sense of realism to our displays, but to also denote each members' responsibility. Everyone contributes something special to the unit, and our goal is to help our members learn in the area they wish to grow.
LT. MICHAELA NEGRETE
Founding member and current unit leader, Michaela has had an interest in historical figures and their stories for as long as she can remember. Her first introduction to the world of historical costuming was when she participated in the Single Action Shooters Society, and found she had a great interest in the conflicts of the early 20th century. The heroic story of the Womens Army Corps inspired her to begin reenacting WWII. Like-minds will find each other, and soon she had found equally passionate women to share the interest. Her favorite part about reenacting is inspiring children to take an interest in history and educating current service members about the women who's footsteps they follow in.
SGT. ROCHELLE HIBBS
Rochelle has always had an interest in history (specifically World War II of course) which increased immensely after meeting other HUSC members. Her role as assistant leader of the SoCal WACs is to help ensure the unit and its events run smoothly. The most important aspect of reenacting is retelling the stories of women who answered the call of patriotism at a time when women were relegated to the home. She believes it is imperative to keep their legacy alive because history books often fail to cover these women in detail or leave them out entirely. Rochelle’s favorite part of reenacting is informing people that women did everything a man could do and received the same pay.
CPL. OLIVIA HATAWAY
Olivia first saw historical reenactors at an airshow and wanted to be just like them. Her interest in World War II was sparked when she took a history class at her college and wanted to know more. She joined SoCal WACs in the Fall of 2017. In a time and generation where history is often overlooked, many do not know of the women who served in the Army during World War II. Olivia feels it is important to keep history alive by demonstrating how women lived, what they wore and endured during the wartime. She hopes that by showing this to others, she can increase the level of awareness and respect given to the men and women who have served for the United States of America.
CPL. MARIAH MUSSENDEN
Mariah has been a historical reenactor for over 10 years. Her first impression was in the American Civil War, and later expanded into WWII and WAC. She is currently the safety officer for SoCal WACs, offering tips and information regarding members' safety at events. Her favorite part about reenacting is the camaraderie within the reenacting community as well as the fact that it brings history alive. Names, dates, and places written in history books become a personal experience. Mariah feels deeply honored to learn and show others about the lives of these brave women who sacrificed so much.
T5. MOLLY MCDOWELL
Molly was introduced to reenacting by her father Fred, who is very active in the reenacting community. Though initially captivated by the romanticism of red lip stick, twirling skirts and swing dancing, she quickly fell in love with the intense commitment to authentic 40’s living. Molly’s biggest role in SoCal WAC’s is their primary photographer and takes many of their portraits and assists with all things communication. As a Communication major at Vanguard University, the Woman’s Army Corps fascinates Molly as she portrays women who share in her similar interests and mindsets.
PFC. CHRISTINA WALLEY
For many years Christina has been interested in recreating women’s historical fashion for the 16th – 20th centuries. During the pandemic it seemed the only group of women still active was reenacting WWII, but the catch was that they were wearing military uniforms, often original from the 1940’s! It was a very different world for her and she quickly realized that uniforms had to follow strict guidelines, and that the availability of wearable originals was diminishing. Christina was a sewer and patternmaker who had been reproducing originals from pictures for many years, suddenly surrounded by original garments she could touch that were in need of copying and reproducing! Her repertoire of uniform patterns are available under “She Sews History” on Etsy. When you research the clothing women wore during a particular era, she learns what those women’s lives were like and understands their perspective better. Their clothes tell a bigger part of the story than most people realize and Christina loves being able to bring that to life for people to see and feel up close!
PFC. SHELBY ANDERSON
Shelby is a high school history teacher at Laguna Beach High School where she has taught U.S. History and Global Studies for the last 4 years. She got into WWII reenacting out of an interest to bring history to life in her classroom. She has always had a passion for education and loves coming to events where she can educate the public. She has also taken on the board position of Education Outreach Coordinator for the HUSC
PFC. MADISON ALCALA
Madison grew up around vintage clothing and antiques due to her mother’s vintage shop, becoming drawn to the styles of the 1930s and 1940s. When she started high school she became interested in history with an emphasis on the United States’ participation in global conflicts. Upon starting her college career she became enthusiastic about studying women’s history- leading her to delve into women’s experiences during World War II. The two interests of both true vintage style and women’s history became a natural transition into doing reenactment. Researching the women of the WAC through their experiences, their contributions, and their uniforms quickly became a passion for her. Madison spends most weekends attending events and sharing the history of the WAC with others.
PFC. JAIME MORSE
PFC. KAIJA GERMAIN
PFC. CARLI HOLLAND
A lifelong history enthusiast, Carli’s interest in the 1940’s began with historical fashion. She was initially drawn to the styles of the time, but quickly learned how much those styles -- along with so many other aspects of home life -- were affected and influenced by World War II. From that point on, she dove into the history of the United States’ involvement in the war, and the ways in which the war impacted civilian life. She was surprised to learn that women served in the army at this time, as her textbooks never taught about them. Through her interest and research about the WAC, Carli found the SoCal WACs website, and joined to finally fulfill a long-standing interest in becoming a historical reenactor.
PFC. MORGAN HOFER
Morgan Hofer has been in the vintage community since 2012, and has been reenacting with SoCal WACs since October 2017. After being raised by her mother who grew up in the 50’s and her grandparents who had served during World War Two, she fell in love with every aspect about the 40’s, and wanted to become a living historian. Morgan also believes in educating and learning about all aspects of history, and not sugar coating things. Especially when it comes to things that are generally hard to talk about, because it is history, and it did happen. She believes that you can’t learn from history by erasing it.
PFC. STEPHANIE CASTAÑEDA
Stephanie first briefly learned about the Women’s Army Corps of World War II in her 10th-grade history class where instantly her curiosity was sparked for these lesser-known veterans. As a devout history lover and intrigued by her father’s army past, Stephanie began researching extensively about the WACs. In 2017, at an Air Raid of 1942 event Stephanie met the future unit leader and the idea of the So Cal WACs — and enlisted as soon as she could. She loves teaching people about the first time in history where daring women were integrated into the army and defied all odds of the time period. Currently Stephanie studies History and Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine where she hopes to further her research of the WACs in the Second World War.