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NEWS | Sept. 26, 2016

A Parents Dream for a Better Future molds U.S. Army Reserve Officer

By 2nd Lt. Christian Ferrer Rivera 1st Mission Support Command

Parents go above and beyond to ensure their children have better opportunities and a brighter future than they had. For Capt. Alejandro Magana’s parents, this rang true as they illegally migrated into the United States from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico with six young children when he was only seven years old. Despite the challenges they faced, they obtained their citizenship on September 11, 2001.

Magana dedicated his high school years to the Junior ROTC program at PSJA North High School. It was then that he decided to join the military. “I enjoyed the camaraderie one establishes as a young Soldier,” said Magana. “Even though this was not the real Army, I learned how to be disciplined and enjoyed being in leadership positions.”

During his time in JROTC, Magana’s experiences motivated him to become an officer and join the U.S. Army. “A previous bad experience I had from high school with a retired sergeant first class made me pursue a commission to become an officer in the United States Army,” expressed Magaña. “I wanted to prove him wrong about the way he viewed me and show him that I could be someone in life that could help other people.”

Magaña set out to earn a college degree and obtain his citizenship before joining the Army. During his quest, several events from the past and present propelled Magaña to join the U.S. Army earlier than expected. “I obtained my citizenship on September 11, 2001, the same day New York was attacked by terrorists,” said Magana. “This did not make me change my mind about joining the Army, on the contrary, it motivated me to enroll in the ROTC program at the University of Texas Pan-American to achieve my goal of being a U.S. Army officer.”

Magaña joined the simultaneous membership program (SMP) as a ROTC cadet in 2003 and eventually earned his commission into the U.S. Army Reserve in May of 2005. Magana was commissioned into the Adjutant General Officer Corps and is currently serving as the Assistant Human Resources Officer at the 1st Mission Support Command on Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009-2010 as the platoon leader for the 678th Human Resources Company (Postal).

Having the support of friends and family is paramount and sought after within the Hispanic culture. “My parents have always supported me in my decisions,” explained Magana. “When I joined the Army they were a little concerned but very proud that I decided to pursue a new challenge.” Magana also attributes his success and motivation to become a better Soldier, friend, and husband to his wife, Rita Magana. “I am happily married to a beautiful and fabulous wife who supports me with my career and is always dedicated to helping me feel better after a long day of work."

Becoming a leader in the Army is no easy feat and Magaña has been able to take that role by continuously learning from his experiences and mentoring young Soldiers. “I have learned that as a leader, one must always remain humble and treat Soldiers with respect, despite the rank you hold,” explained Magaña. “I found out that as we progress in ranks, we become role models to our younger Soldiers. Therefore we must always do the right thing and set the example by living the Army values.

Being a Soldier is not a job, but an honor,” said Magaña. “We serve the people of the United States and defend our way of life. Also, the learning experiences one attains from this profession are priceless and forever.”