REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Aug. 11, 2022) – Roberto Flores’ career with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center almost did not happen.
It is a common misconception that one has to be a uniformed service member to be a part of the Army team. Flores’ thoughts were no different when he came upon the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center’s table at a job fair. But a lifelong love of aircraft led him to pause for a moment and learn about a job position in a city, “I had never heard of,” Flores said, with a laugh.
Flores got the job and has settled in nicely in Huntsville, Alabama, in a role that combines his engineering degree and entrepreneurial spirit.
“I work at the Prototype Integration Facility,” Flores said. “I am happy to say that I have been working there for more than three years. I work mostly with UH-60 helicopters.”
Flores was born in El Paso, Texas and grew up in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, before returning to Texas at 17 years old.
“I am proud and lucky to say that I have two hometowns in two different countries and that I have family and friends in both as well,” he said.
Flores was always drawn to mathematics and physics as a child and attended the University of Texas at El Paso, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Although engineering had some stiff competition with his early business success.
“While in college, I created three startups,” he said. “One of them was a digital marketing company that took off a bit and allowed me to get more than 10 clients. Thanks to this experience, I was able to gather a substantial amount of knowledge that led me to land my current job, which is basically managing different types of businesses at once.”
When not at the PIF, Flores enjoys playing guitar, reading, traveling, going to the gym and spending time with his Australian Shepherd puppy, Kobe, and friends, family and his girlfriend.
Flores advises young engineers who might not know where their future in engineering might lead to take advantage of internship opportunities. Learn to communicate. Find their passion – what they want to concentrate on in their career. And keep an open mind – opportunities are everywhere. If he had not taken a chance at that job fair, Flores said that he would not be where he is today.
“I love that I am blessed to work with the most amazing teams every day and that I get to manage several efforts at a time,” Flores said. “I get to complete projects from start to finish and the feeling of amazing satisfaction that comes with it. I get to work with aircraft, which was my dream since I was a little kid. And of course, that I get to serve all the men and women that work so hard so that we can enjoy our liberty and all the things we love and cherish.”
The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.