DVIDS – News – Reservist, Engineer, Merchant Marine Academy Grad Seizes Opportunities

One chief engineer found her way to Military Sealift Command Far East as part of her professional and personal development.

Lt. Esmeraldy Arce, serving a one-year reserve assignment, cites career progression as just one of the benefits as both an action officer at MSC FE and as a contract mariner.

Currently, she manages the manning, training, and equipping of the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force operating throughout the 7th Fleet Area of Operations, which includes the Indian and Pacific Oceans. This oversight includes the administration, logistics, scheduling, and maintenance of MSC’s fleet oilers and ordnance and dry cargo vessels. Every day, she keeps a keen eye on each vessel, maintaining situational awareness of their locations, materiel conditions, and maintenance requirements.

“I am essentially the liaison between the MSCFE operations and the Combat Logistics Force,” Arce said.

“Without this position, there could be significant miscommunication and missed information between the assets and the command.”

Getting it right is what the Washington, DC, native has done throughout her career, ever since she graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 2013. Right after she graduated, Arce went to work in the oil and gas industry as a third assistant engineer. With her Coast Guard chief engineer’s unlimited motors license, in her civilian job she is a contract mariner, working as a first assistant engineer or a chief engineer.

“I stayed in this industry because of the opportunity to progress in my career, the salary, and the rotational schedule.”

She achieves those goals not only with her civilian operating company but also when serving in the reserves. Arce affiliated with the reserves right after completing her degree at USMMA.

During past reserve active-duty-for-training, known as ADT, periods, she has served as an assistant port engineer, assisting the principal port engineer establish and maintain critical relationships with project managers. She’s also been a contracting officer representative, reviewing and monitoring a shipyard’s hospitality services.

“I had a great time especially because the ADTs were in locations where I could travel and see some really cool places when I had free time,” the mother of three said.

Why did you affiliate with the reserves?

I decided to involve myself more in the Navy because I would like to retire in the reserves. Serving my country when needed, various learning opportunities, traveling to places around the world, the benefits one receives, and the lifetime pension after serving 20 “good” years, I don’t think you can beat that. It requires some commitment, but what relationship doesn’t.

What would you say to someone considering the reserves?

I think it’s a great opportunity, and if you don’t mind giving up some of your personal time to complete your annual requirements, then go for it. The opportunities are endless.

What’s the most gratifying part of your job?

Getting an “outstanding job” from my upper management. Having your hard work being seen is awesome in itself, as not many people get recognition they deserve. That inspires me to continue working hard.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

I would say keeping track of the day-to-day activities of the ships in the combat logistics force. The operations of these vessels are constantly changing. One could easily spend more than 12 hours working per day. I am able to handle everything with time management to help prioritize my work tasks, not allow the job to overwhelm me, and always giving myself the space to disconnect so I can recharge the brain.

What would you say to others who may be interested in supporting MSC?

If an opportunity arises, apply for it. I’ve learned so much and grown from my experiences with MSC. Because of the opportunities I’ve had, I have gained a unique perspective and now understand both the shore-based and afloat sides of the business. Many things happen as part of shore-based operations and support to afloat assets and crews that some underway personnel may not realize.

Date Taken: 06.16.2021
Date Posted: 06.16.2021 05:42
Story ID: 399028

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