Gerardo "Gary" Ochoa is the Assistant Deputy Director for the Veterans Services Division and has worked for the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services since 2008. Upon his retirement from the Marine Corps as a First Sergeant and 22-years of honorable service, he joined the team as a Veterans Benefits Counselor and later promoted to Southern Region Manager before entering into his current position. Accredited as a Service Officer through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, he advocates for Veterans and their dependents represented by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services and the American Legion. His current duties include executive oversight of the Veterans’ Memorial Cemeteries, State Approving Agency, Quality Review Team, and our team of Veterans’ Benefits Counselors. In addition, Gary is an active member of several Veterans’ Advisory Committees and Veterans’ Service Organizations.
While serving in the Marine Corps, Gary was assigned to several units both stateside and overseas. Key billets held include Anti-Tank Company First Sergeant, HMH-466 Squadron Gunnery Sergeant, Alpha Company Drill Instructor and Senior Drill Instructor, Recruit Training Regiment Operations and Training Chief, and Systems Administrator and Data Analyst for several fixed wing and rotary aircraft squadrons. Gary graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and has a Master of Science Degree from Grand Canyon University in Leadership. Some of Gary’s military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Gold Star.