Throughout her 15 years working and five years volunteering for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Josie Militello has managed money, offices, pension payments, client cases, and more. What started as a way to occupy her time as a civilian spouse while her husband was working in Sigonella, Sicily for the Department of Defense, became a vocation.
“We were transferred to Sigonella right after we got married,” Militello recalled. “I went to the Fleet and Family Services Center and they pointed me to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, where I volunteered as a caseworker and loan manager for six months.” When the couple moved back to Washington, DC, Militello became an accounts payable clerk at NMCRS headquarters, putting her degree in accounting to good use. She remained there for two years until her husband’s job took them back to Italy, this time to Naples. During their five years in Naples, Militello volunteered doing casework, teaching budget for baby classes, conducting briefings, and serving as an office assistant. She was also employed by the Society part time to conduct audits at NMCRS offices overseas. “Then, I had a baby and went back to volunteering,” she laughed.
Reassigned back to DC again in 2004, Militello was again hired at headquarters to oversee the network of shipboard emergency services offices that provide NMCRS financial assistance to deployed Sailors and Marines. “I had oversight of active duty volunteers assigned to 236 USN ships,” she explained. “At that time, the volunteer shipboard reps could provide the assistance to their crew members right away, but because of communication issues, we couldn’t get the clients’ information and loan documentation entered into our accounting system immediately. Thankfully, communication is much easier now than it was in 2004.”
Militello also manages the Society’s relationship with American Express, which NMCRS caseworkers rely on to book emergency travel arrangements for clients. “If a client needs to get home,” Militello said, “We help them get where they need to be.” She is also the NMCRS liaison with the American Red Cross, Army Emergency Relief, and Air Force Aid to ensure that emergency funds provided these sister organizations are accounted for and reimbursed by NMCRS.
Other aspects of her job include administering pension payments for the NMCRS pension plan, and ensuring all NMCRS field offices have the technological and financial resources they need to provide evacuation assistance and financial support before and after a natural disaster, such as the recent Hurricane Matthew. “We make sure the service members and their families are ready to evacuate in an emergency and we take care of the rest later.”
Militello has also recruited her kids—ages 15 and 11—to serve as NMCRS volunteers when they can. They often help in the headquarters office during school breaks and can be heard cheering on TEAM NMCRS runners during the Marine Corps Marathon.
Congratulations on 15 years with the Society, Josie!
By Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso