U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico highlights contributions of female Soldiers

By Sgt. Katherine Ramos | 363rd Public Affairs Detachment | March 10, 2020

FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico —

Capt. Maria del Carmen Rivera, Sgt. Belmarie Laguna Sierra and Sgt. Amanda Rivera, all from the 1st Mission Support Command, Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, occupied the public eye as part of the command's commemoration of International Women's Week, March 9.

Capt. Rivera serves as a logistics operations officer for the 393rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. Officers in this field are developed to be multifunctional and experts in their basic core function as they support unified land operations and the operational environment.

"It is an honor because I am proud of the organization and what we do to accomplish the mission,'' said Capt. Rivera who possesses 20 years of military service.

Since the Revolutionary War, women played a critical role in the defense of the nation. "Sometimes we are worried about how we are perceived by others. However, we should expand our horizons and stop limiting ourselves, because we are more than capable,'' said Capt. Rivera.

Sgt. Belmarie Laguna serves as a Cargo Specialist for the 268th Transportation Company. As part of her duties, Laguna, is responsible for securing and transferring cargo equipment on vehicles, planes, and vessels. "If you have the necessary enthusiasm to learn, anyone regardless of gender, can operate this type of equipment,'' said Laguna, making reference to the size of the Material Handling Equipment she operates.

As a Non-Commissioned-Officer, Laguna, sees herself as a facilitator that enables professional growth of Soldiers . "As a facilitator, I am always trying to motivate my Soldiers to thrive and achieve their full potential," said Laguna, who in 2017 provided support to the 5th Special Forces Group in the Middle East.

Sgt. Rivera, a Glen Cove New York native, serves with the 448th Engineer Battalion, as a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic, primarily responsible for performing maintenance and recovery operations on wheeled vehicles.

"My job requires a lot of teamwork, we all need to be synchronized and on the same page, otherwise one would not be able to succeed,'' said Sgt. Rivera.

Sgt. Rivera currently participates of the Active Guard Reserve program. "On a daily basis, I order equipment through the system, conduct preventive maintenance checks and services and mechanical repairs on vehicles, ensuring that every equipment in our motor pool is up-to-standards,'' said Sgt. Rivera.

The personal story of these three female Soldiers clearly shows how the education, training, and hands-on experience available in the Army Reserve empowers our current and future female Soldiers to reach their maximum potential as Soldiers, professionals, family members and citizens.

For the past 98 years, the women assigned to the U.S. Army Reserve multifunctional geographic command for the Caribbean have been serving, fighting and contributing to the security and prosperity of our great nation, and continue to do so today.

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