Sergeant Major Rivera enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on November 9th, 1996 and graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego with India Company, 3rd Battalion in Feburary 1997.
Private First Class Rivera reported to Infantry Training Battalion Camp Pendleton, California where he was assigned to Bravo Company and became an Infantry Mortarman (0341). In April 1997, Private First Class Rivera graduated from ITB and reported to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines in Hawaii and was assigned to Weapons Company. Private First Class Rivera participated in two Unit Deployment Program deployments going to Japan, Guam and Korea.
In 1998 he was promoted to Corporal and went on his second deployment, where he would serve as a squad leader. In 1999 Corporal Rivera was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and earned the billet of section leader. In November of 2000, Sergeant Rivera reported to Weapons Field Training Battalion, Camp Pendleton California and he became the Chief Instructor of Alpha Range. In October of 2001, Sergeant Rivera attended the Small Arms Weapons Instructor Course in Quantico, Virginia.
On November 9th, 2003 Sergeant Rivera reported to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and was assigned to Weapons Company. In February of 2004 he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a vehicle commander in Al-Qa'im, Iraq. Sergeant Rivera would soon be assigned the role of Platoon Commander and again deployed in September 2005 in support of OIF. He and his company were assigned to Camp Korean Village, Iraq. In July of 2006 Staff Sergeant Rivera received orders to Marine Combat Instructor School, and upon graduation was assigned to Fox Company Marine Combat Training Battalion where he would serve as a Platoon Commander and Company Gunnery Sergeant. In February of 2009 Staff Sergeant Rivera was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant and was reassigned as the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for Separations and Retention Platoon in Headquarters and Service Battalion, School of Infantry.
In September of 2009, Gunnery Sergeant Rivera reported to 1st Battalion, 7th Marines and was assigned to Alpha Company where he would serve as the Platoon Sergeant for Weapons Platoon. Gunnery Sergeant Rivera would serve in different companies over the next two years, but then returned back to Alpha Company towards the end of January 2012. In February of the same year, Gunnery Sergeant Rivera deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Helmand Province, Sang-In District, Afghanistan.
In February 2013 Gunnery Sergeant Rivera was frocked to the rank of First Sergeant and would serve as the Company First Sergeant for Alpha Company. In June of 2013 First Sergeant Rivera received orders to Inspector and Instructor Duty in Abilene, Texas. After serving as the Inspector and Instructor First Sergeant he received orders to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines in August of 2016. After returning from deployment in September of 2017, First Sergeant Rivera was frocked to the rank of Sergeant Major and reported to 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines. In July of 2020 Sergeant Major Rivera received orders to become the Station Sergeant Major of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Okinawa, Japan where he currently serves.
Sergeant Major Rivera's personal awards include: The Purple Heart in lieu of 2nd Award, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal in lieu of 4th Award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in lieu of 2nd Award, and the Combat Action Ribbon.