Coleman was accepted to the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS),
and received her commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps upon
graduating from the Naval Academy in 2004. “I was 18 years old, and I was
really impressed with all of the Marines that I had been exposed to up to that point
in my life,” she states. “I loved the values that Marines embodied, and I knew that
I wanted to be a leader of Marines.”
Working with fellow Marines is the best part of Coleman’s job. As a field
grade officer, she spends a lot of time teaching and mentoring junior officers.
“I enjoy being able to share the experiences and lessons I learned as a
junior officer and hopefully help my Marines become better leaders,” she states.
“I also appreciate that the Marine Corps constantly challenges me. Every two to
three years, I go somewhere new and have to learn a new job.” During the past
12 months, Coleman also worked with the Marine Depot Maintenance
Command (MDMC), which oversees two depot maintenance production
plants and a $1.2 billion budget over the Future Years Defense Program.
“I joined the military because I wanted to serve
the country that allowed my parents to achieve
the American Dream, and provided my family
with so many opportunities for success,”
states Lieutenant Kimberly Rios, Judge
Advocate General’s Corps at the U.S Navy.
It was in high school at 15 years old,
while participating in the Navy Junior Reserve
Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) that Rios
realized she wanted to join the military.
Today, Rios is assigned to the Office of the Judge Advocate General,
Appellate Government Division (Code 46). In 2011, Rios graduated with a
Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and English with honors from Aurora
University. She then attended DePaul University College of Law where she
received her Juris Doctorate with honors in May 2014.
For Rios, the camaraderie and initiative senior officers take to mentor and
support her, and the family-oriented environment amongst her peers are the best
part of her job. The hardest part, however, is learning new tasks and skills every
time she rotates into a new billet.
“The challenge forces me to remain flexible, strengthens my patience, and
heightens the confidence in myself that I can meet the new challenge,” she shares.
“Growing up in a low-income family, I have had to use resources wisely and work
twice as hard as the next person to excel. I’ve also had to challenge and overcome
cultural stereotypes about women within my own family just so that I can get
myself where I needed to be to advance my career as a military lawyer.”
Rios commissioned into the U.S. Navy JAG Corps through the Student
Program in August 2014. In 2014, Rios attended Officer Development School and
immediately reported to Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island in
January 2015. Upon completion of Naval Justice School in March 2015, she
reported to Region Legal Service Office Midwest in Great Lakes, Illinois.
Rios intends to pursue the Military Justice Litigation Career Track. Her advice
for Latinas entering the workforce is to, “be confident in yourself enough to
volunteer for the most challenging tasks and work hard to excel in that task,” she
says. “Everything else will follow.”
Petty Officer First
Class Brenda V.
Born and raised in McAllen, Texas
NC1(SW/AW) Brenda V. Chavez graduated
from McAllen Memorial High School in 2002
and enlisted as a Seaman Apprentice in the
United States Navy in November of 2001
under the Delayed Entry Program. She
attended Recruit Training Command in Great
Lakes, Illinois, on October 2002 and has been
serving the country for 15 years.
“I joined the military early on as a young adult with dreams of seeing the
world, getting a college education and getting to know different types of
people and cultures,” says Chavez. “My oldest sister, Diana, had enlisted in the
Navy and was serving at the time I made my decision to follow in her footsteps.”
For Chavez, the best part of her job is to influence ideas, change for the
better and getting to know individuals with the same ideals.
“I am very driven by success and if I can touch one person and be a part of
that transformation, I can say I have succeeded,” she states. “When it’s my time
to retire, I can go home, satisfied knowing that our country is going to be ok.”
As Departmental Career Counselor for the Combat Systems Department,
she successfully managed a department of 200 Sailors for a period of two years.
Her determination to become an expert Navy Career Counselor led to her
conversion to Navy Counselor in 2009 and was advanced to NC1.
Her first duty as a Navy Counselor was aboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS
(CVN-74) for a crew of over 2,500 Sailors. Chavez has already taken
responsibility as an ISIC Command Career Counselor and currently holds
designations as the Command CPO 365/Sailor 360 Training Coordinator,
Command Resilience Team (CRT) member, Executive Department Leading Petty
Officer (LPO), and First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) Secretary.
Michelle E. Rosa
“My parents provided me with the greatest
examples of hard work and public service,”
says Michelle E. Rosa. “Since before I
graduated college, I had considered a
career in public service, however it wasn’t
until I had the opportunity to work as a
contractor for DoD that I realized how much
the mission resonated with me. I was 30
when I joined the civil service and 24 when
I started to work as a DOD contractor.”
Rosa serves as a Cybersecurity Risk
Analyst for OPNAV N2N6 at the U.S. Navy.
In this capacity, she develops metrics that
provide insights into execution of the Navy’s cyber resilience strategy, and
support Echelon I level decisions. She also provides recommendations to high
level officials on cybersecurity measures, investments and policies.
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