Lieutenant Commander Jamie Rivas is the new Public Works Officer aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow (MCLBB), Calif.
Rivas took over for outgoing PW officer LCDR Jeffrey Patton, July 2.
“Commander Patton and I have a history of working together before,” Rivas said, “and I know the caliber of officer he was before and I know he was able to do quite a lot of good things.”
The 11-year Navy veteran said she asked to come to MCLB Barstow right out of the University of California Santa Barbara where the Navy had sent her to complete a master’s degree in Technology Management.
Although she has worked in a public works office before, this will be the first time Rivas has been in charge of public works at a base.
“I thought it would be a great place to be a public works officer working with the Marines,” Rivas explained. “My family also lives nearby.”
Far from being the sleepy little outpost she originally thought MCLB Barstow was, she said she has been pleasantly surprised by MCLB Barstow and the level of activity she has seen.
“The best thing about MCLBB is people are very friendly,” she said. “They’re helpful and really care about the base and are committed to the mission even if they’re not from the area.”
She was also an instructor at the Naval Civil Engineer Corps Officer School in Port Hueneme, Calif., where she was stationed as a member of the “Fighting Forty” Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 40 and Naval Construction Group 1.
“My first duty station was (Joint Base) Pearl Harbor (Hickam),” Rivas said. “After Pearl Harbor I joined up with NMCB 40 in Deh Dadi II, Afghanistan, and through their Pacific Command deployment.” After two deployments, Rivas went to NCG1 to do mission planning for the SeaBees in the PACOM theater.
Born in Bryan, Ohio, Rivas said she had always wanted to be an engineer, but a career in the military had never been on her horizon.
“If I had never joined the military I think I would still be doing much the same thing as I’m doing now, but I don’t think I would have progressed in my engineering career as quickly as I have,” Rivas said. “(The military has) given me a sense of purpose and I enjoy it.”
Rivas is also in to physical fitness and plans to focus on fitness after the sedentary lifestyle of grad school.
“I didn’t have the luxury of time to devote to exercise when I was in graduate school. I spent a lot of time driving back and forth to grad school,” she said. “I love to cycle so I will definitely be looking at getting a mountain bike while I’m out here and hitting the high desert.”
Rivas sees good things ahead and is eager to get to work.
“I think MCLBB is a tremendous opportunity for me and presents some challenges as well,” she said. “I see what you have going here and it is heading in a good direction.”