FORT BUCHANAN, PR - The United States Army Reserve Command announced, Nov. 13 that Julio Aponte has been selected as the new Command Executive Officer at the 1st Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, with headquarters at Fort Buchanan.

The Command Executive Officer position is the senior federal civilian employee in the U.S. Army in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

"It is an honor for me to get this position and be able to serve better our civilian employees, Soldiers and family members. This command is very important for me. My heart is here and I want to leave behind a positive legacy for the future generations," said Aponte, shortly after being sworn in by Brig. Gen. Dustin A. Shultz, senior federal Army officer in the Caribbean.

Aponte has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a Master degree in Human Resources Administration from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. He also has a law degree from the same university, and was accepted by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court in 2007 to practice law in the U.S. territory.

Before his selection as the Command Executive Officer, Aponte was the 1st Mission Support Command's Comptroller.

The Command Executive Officer provides advice to the Commanding General about matters related to the civilian workforce, as well as equipment and training matters.

"It is important for the Command Executive Officer to have firsthand knowledge of the great sacrifices that our civilian employees, Soldiers and family members go through. It is important to have empathy," said Aponte, who has 31 years of combined experience in the Army Reserve as an enlisted Soldier and officer, both in the Troop Program Unit and the Active Guard Reserve programs.

According to Shultz, the Command Executive Officer selection process was meticulous and transparent.

"We had 89 individuals applying for this vacancy, from across the United States and Puerto Rico. We conducted the selection following a clear process of interviews and validations of references," said Shultz.

"In addition, the selection board included personnel from the 1st Mission Support Command combined with personnel from other commands across the United States, to keep the sense of neutrality and impartiality," added Shultz.

Due to the part time nature of the Army Reserve, it heavily relies in the service of its civilian workforce to coordinate operations, while providing continuity.

The Army Reserve in Puerto Rico has approximately 210 federal civilian positions, with a payroll impact of approximately 21 million into the local economy.