Greenport Village trustee and deputy mayor Jack Martilotta received the Meritorious Service Medal from the United States Army last Sunday, Oct. 27, for his efforts in the U.S. National Guard in 2016.
Mr. Martilotta was recognized for two years of service as first sergeant of Headquarters Battery, First Battalion 258 Field Artillery.
The Meritorious Service Medal is granted to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who distinguish themselves by outstanding achievement or meritorious service to the country, according to the United States Air Force website. Mr. Martilotta was employed in several training army centers to prepare troops for battle, with help from captains Adam Connelly and Christopher Wallace.
“We’re responsible for training and the welfare of the troops,” Mr. Martilotta said. “At the time, we had roughly … 175 people in our unit.”
As first sergeant, Mr. Martilotta said, he worked primarily in Jamaica, Queens. During his service, he also led a unit of enlisted soldiers through a roughly three- or four-week program at the Joint Readiness Training Center, a U.S. Army training center at Fort Polk, La.
In Louisiana, he spent a lot of time working with junior leaders to ensure that they knew how to use weaponry. Then, those leaders trained troops, he said.
“We had a really successful rotation,” he said. “We were able to find success in trying to make the Battery better.”
Some additional training took place at Camp Smith, a military installation in Cortlandt Manor, roughly 30 miles north of New York City, Mr. Martilotta said.
Mr. Martilotta left the role in late 2017. He now serves as the First Sergeant of Alpha Battery — part of the same battalion, he said, which drills out of New Windsor, N.Y.
The Greenport Village resident has been a science teacher at Greenport High School for roughly 13 years. He’s also the varsity football coach.
“I’m just trying to do the right thing,” he said.
Ever-modest, Mr. Martilotta said none of his achievements would have been possible without the help of members of the unit, and the support of his wife and three children.
“They put up with me doing stuff like this,” he said. “I really appreciate all the support that [she] and the kids give to me.”
Mr. Martilotta will be formally awarded the medal at a ceremony in December, he said.
Photo caption: Jack Martilotta at a recent village meeting. (Credit: Kate Nalepinski)