Master sergeant’s job empowers her to “take care of people”

By Katie Davis Skelley, DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center Public AffairsMarch 21, 2024

Master Sgt. Stephina Reyes is the non-commissioned officer in charge for the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center.
Master Sgt. Stephina Reyes is the non-commissioned officer in charge for the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center. (Photo Credit: Haley Myers, DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (March 21, 2024) – There may only be 21 uniformed personnel in the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center’s more than 12,000 workforce, but those 21 play an essential part in the Center’s success.

Master Sgt. Stephina Reyes knows exactly how essential they are – she has been a part of the team since 2018 and the non-commissioned officer in charge since 2022. Six years is a long time for an assignment in the U.S. Army, but not for Reyes. Her career path has been unique since she enlisted 16 years ago, as she has had only three duty stations.

Reyes enlisted “as a whim” she said, as her main goal was to pay for college and find a way out of Georgia.

“I walked into a recruitment office and a week later was off to basic training,” she said.

That path out of Georgia included three deployments, one to Iraq and two to Afghanistan. But then in an ironic twist, the Army sent her back to Georgia to serve as a recruiter for three years. Even after being in theater, this was the job that pushed Reyes, a self-professed introvert, out of her comfort zone.

“It was definitely a challenge,” she shares. “It was very difficult for me to talk to people all day, every day for three years. But at the same time, looking back that was a pivotal point in my career, as it forced me to become comfortable with public speaking.  Now I feel quite confident talking to anyone in any setting.”

Her next assignment was the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center’s Fort Eustis locale, and after six years, Reyes said if it was up to her, she would never leave. It is a role with many different facets, but they all can be summed up under, “taking care of Soldiers and civilians,” which has been very fulfilling, she said.

“I like to joke around and say that I am a jack-of-all trades, master of none,” Reyes said. “I contribute to various aspects within the organization. My primary responsibility is the senior enlisted advisor to the commander, and I also serve as a military operations specialist and the senior non-commissioned officer who oversees all matters related to our military personnel, including everything from personnel readiness reporting to talent management and professional development. As a directorate, we don't have a typical organizational support structure, so I serve as the sole local element for the human resource management of our uniformed population.”

Part of the reason that Reyes has stayed a longer time than usual is that she is part of a dual-military family with her partner also active duty. This was their first assignment together and their time was extended for their older two children to finish high school. With her husband’s upcoming retirement, there will be big changes for the family, which also includes two more younger kids. There is not a lot of downtime with toddlers, Reyes said with a laugh, but they have loved their time at Fort Eustis and hope to put down roots, post-retirement.

Reyes still has a few years before she hangs up her uniform, but as a seasoned Soldier, she shared advice for the new recruit just starting out their military career.

“Seek as much knowledge as possible. Never turn down an opportunity for personal or professional development, as it can open doors to unforeseen possibilities. Network every chance that you get and don't be afraid to take your career into your own hands, because no one will care more about your career than you.”


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.