Rosa previously served as an Enterprise IT Program Manager for the
Naval Air Warfare Center, Air Craft Division. In this capacity, she managed a
multi-million-dollar program that is used by almost 20,000 CONUS and OCONUS
For Rosa, the best part of her job is seeing the impact her work has on the
warfighter. In her role she is able to influence decisions that will enhance the state
of cybersecurity within the Navy. The hardest part is ensuring that every project,
decision and initiative that she takes on not only adds significant value to
warfighters but ensures that they advance and protect the national security
“I’ve learned to deeply value our warfighters and the incredible work they do
to ensure we enjoy a country where we have freedom and prosperity,” she says.
“As a civilian, there is a certain sense of responsibility to not just the warfighter but
to the American people in general that one develops in this type of career. There
is also a lot of structure and discipline in the kind of work we do and those are two
things I truly value as a civilian.”
Rosa earned a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of
Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and an MBA from the Ana G. Mendez University System.
U.S. Air Force
Wanting to make her parents proud, be a
good role model to her siblings, seek more in
life, and the desire to attend college inspired
Captain Michelle Cazares to join the military.
“The opportunity to travel the world also
made the decision to join the military very
appealing,” she shares.
Cazares is a Cyberspace Officer
assigned to the 39th Communications Squadron at Incirlik AB, Turkey as the Plans
and Programs Flight Commander. Throughout her career, she has served in
various leadership positions including special systems support NCOIC, A-10
Assistant Supply Section Chief, Logistics Career Broadener, Senior Enlisted
Advisor, Client Service Center OIC, Executive Officer, Defense Maintenance Flight
Commander, Lead Crew Commander, and most recently Assistant Director of
Not coming from a military family, her family was shocked when she joined
the military. Her initial plans were to stay four years and go back home, however
she decided to re-enlist and take orders to South Korea.
“The best part of my job is that I get to work unique missions all over the world
with great people that are very passionate about what they do and about taking
care of their subordinates,” she states.
Cazares believes in working hard regardless how small the task is – a trait
her father taught her. “He never put a gender role on it and just wanted me to give
it my all in whatever I was doing,” she shares. “I have kept that mentality which,
has helped me be successful in a traditionally male environment. Thinking about
how hard my father worked growing up and still does to this day motivates me
Captain Gloriemar Torre’ Santiago is the
Standardization and Evaluation Flight
Commander for the 23rd Bomb Squadron,
Minot Air Force Base (AFB) in North Dakota.
She is responsible for overseeing all
standardization and evaluations for 70
squadron personnel. The flight ensures all
members are able to execute their 5th Bomb
Wing assigned combat mission and are
prepared to execute national security policy
by delivering conventional and nuclear
weapons to destroy targets in defense of the U.S.
“I was a member of the Navy JROTC unit at my high school and my
instructors helped us see that there were avenues to get college paid for and
also give back to our country,” she shares. “Therefore, I eventually elected to
pursue a nomination to the U.S. Air Force Academy after I saw that my twin
brother was applying to West Point (United States Military Academy).”
In 2006, Torre’ Santiago entered basic military training at the United States
Air Force Academy Preparatory School as a Cadet candidate. She graduated from
USAFA and earned her commission in May 2011.
Currently, Torre’ Santiago is the sole Latina aviator at Minot AFB. She ensures
all members meet combat ready standards with a team of only one additional
Captain and one civilian employee.
Technical Sergeant Sasha M. Alejandro
is the Executive Assistant to the Command
Chief at the Air Force Personnel Center
(AFPC) at Joint Base San Antonio
Randolph, Texas. She provides vital Junior
Enlisted perspective to the center’s senior
leaders influencing six directorates and
seven special staff agencies supporting
1.7 million personnel. Sergeant Alejandro directly coordinates with the Office
of the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Major Commands, Numbered Air
Forces and Wing Senior Leaders on all aspects influencing the Enlisted Force.
As the administrative lead for the Center’s Awards Recognition program,
she safeguards directorate-level nominations for seven military and civilian
categories and serves as the primary liaison between AFPC and the Pentagon
during Headquarters Air Force quarterly and annual award boards.
She is also the principle for several programs designed to recognize the Air
Force’s finest Airmen such as the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning and the
12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year programs. Alejandro joined the Air Force in
30 LATINAStyle www.latinastyle.com Vol. 24, No. 6, 2018