PUERTO NUEVO, PR- Lt. Gen. Charles D. Luckey, Chief of the Army Reserve and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve Command, officiated the swearing-in ceremony of the two U.S. Army Reserve Ambassadors for Puerto Rico, retired Brig. Gen. Fernando Fernandez and retired Command Sgt. Maj. René Berlingeri, Dec. 7, at the Puerto Nuevo Reserve Center.
"The Army Reserve Ambassadors program is very important to maintain a healthy connection with the community. As members of a community based organization, our Army Reserve Soldiers need that local support," said Luckey minutes before the ceremony.
The ceremony marked the first time a retired enlisted member is inducted as an Army Reserve Ambassador in the largest federal U.S. Army Reserve command in the Caribbean.
"I am very proud for this opportunity and to be the first retired enlisted Soldier to be an Ambassador in Puerto Rico," said Berlingeri, who is a former Command Sergeant Major of the 166th Regional Support Group, a brigade element of the 1st Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico.
"I am eager to do my very best to help the Army Reserve in Puerto Rico, now without wearing the uniform. We can help the command by integrating different sectors of the local community," added Berlingeri.
For Fernandez, who is a former 1st Mission Support Command, Commanding General, becoming an Army Reserve Ambassador represents a great opportunity.
"Being an Ambassador represents a new opportunity to continue serving and helping the Army Reserve command in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands," said Fernandez.
Both Fernandez and Berlingeri have started developing comprehensive plans to better connect with the people around the island.
"As an Ambassador, we will serve as liaisons with local governments, the private sector and the community, to disseminate the purpose and mission of the Army Reserve," added Fernandez.
Established in 1998, the Army Reserve Ambassadors program provides the advantage of strategic timing, long-term relationships, and continued dialogue with persons of influence to achieve the desired outcomes the Army Reserve needs to stay relevant in today's challenging operating environment.