Photo Information

Fire Chief Alex Rivera with Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, speaks to guests as he gives a tour of Fire Station 6 on MCB Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Jan. 24, 2024. Rivera was appointed as the Marine Corps Installations East Regional Fire Chief and Installation Fire Chief at MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River in November 2023 after being the Fire Chief at the United States Military Academy, West Point for over seven years. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Zeta Johnson)

Photo by Cpl. Zeta Johnson

New fire chief checks aboard

6 Feb 2024 | Courtesy Story Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

For many, the turning of the new year brings promise of change and new beginnings. This sentiment holds especially true for the Camp Lejeune Fire and Emergency Services (CLFES) family as we welcome a new fire chief for the first time in more than a decade.

Alex Rivera, an Air Force veteran, and California native, comes to the CLFES family from the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point, where he served as the fire chief for the last three years.

“Chief Rivera and I were both promoted together to Assistant Fire Chiefs at West Point at the end of 2016. We served together for a few years, and he was then promoted to chief,” said Assistant Chief James Rohner, USMA, West Point and Rivera’s former colleague. “He was the perfect person for the job… our loss is definitely your gain.”

Rivera brings more than 24 years of fire service knowledge and experience to the table and has held multiple leadership positions throughout his career. His resume reflects a career dedicated to continued self-improvement in education, practical application, and servant leadership.

“Service to others is in my heart,” said Rivera. “It’s who I am and have always been. There is no better feeling in the world than watching others succeed and knowing that you played a part in that. My experience at West Point was significant in my growth as both a leader and a follower.”
Rivera officially accepted his new title as the CLFES Fire Chief during a pinning ceremony in late November 2023. In the short time since his appointment, Rivera has taken the time to visit every station, sit down and have a meal with each crew and appears to have taken a genuine interest in what his people expect from him as a leader.

“Rivera cares about people,” said Rohner. “This shows in his love of his family, but also how he talks to and manages those under him. Many fire chiefs feel the need to make decisions quickly and move on. Rivera looks at the big picture and how it will affect everyone involved before rushing to judgement.”

When asked about his top priorities for the department in the new year, it was no surprise his number one is people.

“I really have an interest in others and their life’s journey. There are so many lessons to be taken by just listening. It also provides an opportunity to understand what drives and motivates them,” said Rivera.
In fact, it was the people that inspired Rivera to throw his hat in the ring for the fire chief position. Coupled with his strong love of country and call to serve, Rivera knew the CLFES family was the right move.

“This move has been good for my soul,” said Rivera. “The potential and community of Camp Lejeune, New River is what drew me here. The people and the talent here are second to none, we are just barely touching the surface.”

Despite his extensive and thriving career in the fire service, Rivera insists that it is his family who deserves credit for much of his successes.
“My family is my lifeline and is what drives me to always strive to reach my fullest potential. We are very close and open; we talk about anything and everything. Being a husband and father has been my greatest achievement,” said Rivera.

“Alex is a great example of family first, work second,” Rohner added. “It was a refreshing change to have a boss that didn’t expect us to put work first and truly valued us putting time into our lives outside of work.”
Having already made some small, but meaningful changes, many members are hopeful and looking forward to seeing what growth Chief Rivera has in store for the CLFES family.

“I, and the men and women of the Camp Lejeune Fire and Emergency Services, are here to serve each one of you to greatest extent of our abilities,” Rivera added. “We look forward to fostering and strengthening relationships and to be the tip of the spear for fire and emergency services. We will always strive to be our best, you can count on that!”

Welcome aboard chief!