After saying farewell to their director of many years in November the White Sands Missile Range Mission and Installation Contracting Command welcomed a new director, Cheryl Rivera, earlier this month.
Rivera, who has 27 years of contracting experience, said she was groomed for her new role ever since she started at a GS-2 pay grade. Rivera credits Fort Lewis, Wash. for teaching her the ‘contracting trade’ when she started there as a contracting specialist. Since her start in Washington, Rivera said she has worked with several agencies throughout her career which will prove valuable when working with the diverse agencies here at WSMR.
“I’ve had just about every job there is in this contracting office,” Rivera said. “I’ve got varied experience so I don’t shy away from the ATEC world.”
Rivera commutes to WSMR from Fort, Bliss, Texas where she lives with her husband 1st Sgt. Emilio Rivera. As a military spouse, Rivera is not only dealing with jumping into a new role but she will also have to balance the emotional impact of her husband’s upcoming deployment at the end of the month. Rivera, originally from Michigan, met her husband when she was working as an acquisition staff officer for United States Army Europe G4 in Germany. The two have been married for nine years and have gone through five deployments together.
“Half of me is a very proud military wife, so I wear two hats,” Rivera said.
Since her start earlier this month, Rivera has seen several new changes occur within the organization. Rivera said the staff will primarily be civilians since the Soldiers have been pulled away from their roles here at WSMR. In order to make up for the loss of Soldiers and a drop in staff due to retirements, Rivera is looking into hiring on five to six new personnel.
Rivera said there are no pressing changes for the contracting office other than a change in the organization as a whole. According to Rivera, MICC will now be run by 418th Contracting Support Brigade in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The command also welcomed a new one star general, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Gabbert, who will be visiting the WSMR Contracting Command later on this month.
“I’m excited to be here and work with all of the different directorates and activities at White Sands,” Rivera said. “I’m excited to partner with them and help out and be part of the team.”