NEWS | June 23, 2022

Profiles in Professionalism: Yeoman 2nd Class Rodrigo Ruiz Guzman

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raymond Maddocks, Navy Reserve Force Public Affairs

Yeoman 2nd Class Rodrigo Ruiz-Guzman is a Training and Administration of the Reserve (TAR) Sailor assigned to Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC), where he wears many hats. He is President of the CNRFC Junior Enlisted Association (JEA), a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocate (VA), and the executive officer for his Sailor 360 boat team. In addition to his collateral duties, his primary job is administration clerk, in which he manages documents and correspondence for Navy Reserve Centers (NRCs) and Navy Reserve Region Readiness and Mobilization Commands (REDCOMs).

Ruiz-Guzman was taught the value of hard work from a young age.

“When I was a boy living in Santiago Ixcuintla, Nayarit, Mexico I would help my grandfather sell food and drinks at a stand by the side of the road,” said Ruiz-Guzman. “My grandfather showed me why hard work was important, and I learned a lot of life lessons from him as well.”

Despite his hard-charging attitude, Ruiz-Guzman says he did not always have the positive outlook that he does now. He moved the U.S. when he was 13 years old. After school, he worked various manual-labor jobs to support himself. He moved from job to job, each one leaving him feeling unfulfilled.- At age 29, he was working in a grain processing facility with a weigh station. One day, a Coast Guardsman came into weigh his household goods for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move. The Coast Guardsman was must younger than Ruiz-Guzman, be he had just been promoted to E4, and he was in his dress uniform. He told Ruiz-Guzman that he was on his way to California to his next duty station. Ruiz-Guzman was impressed by the sharp uniform and the sense of purpose and achievement the Coast Guardsman seemed to have. That same day, he told his boss he was quitting to join the military.

“After I saw that Coast Guardsman, I walked right up to my boss and told him, ‘In the next three months I’m going to lose a lot of weight, and I’m going to quit this job and join the military’,” said Ruiz-Guzman.

That’s exactly what he did. Ruiz-Guzman improved his nutrition and began running, lifting weights, and taking Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Over the course of the next few months, he lost 60 pounds, and with the help of Navy Aviation Machinist’s Mate Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Paul Goins, whom he met at the jiu-jitsu class, he joined the Navy as an Aviation Machinist’s Mate (AD).

“It was not easy, but once I decided that’s what I wanted, nothing was going to stop me,” said Ruiz-Guzman.

Ruiz Guzman says he enjoyed his time as an AD but was drawn to the Yeoman (YN) rating because of the opportunities available to him.

“Being on the admin side of the Navy is very eye-opening,” said Ruiz Guzman. “There are a lot of processes you don’t see when you’re not admin, and I’ve enjoyed learning about those processes.”

Ruiz Guzman is happy to be thriving in his current role at CNRFC, but he is determined not to become complacent. He is currently taking college classes so that eventually he can earn an officer’s commission.

“My next big goal is to commission,” said Ruiz Guzman. “College classes can be challenging, but I can take inspiration from my grandfather. He had no formal education, but he needed to be able to do math to run his store, so he taught himself.”

Ruiz-Guzman is looking forward to his next tour of duty in 2023 at REDCOM Fort Worth.