NY Naval Militia Master Gunnery Sgt. Salvatore Rignola, a Staten Island, resident, receives NY Medal for Meritorious Service

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LATHAM, NY (06/26/2018) New York Naval Militia Gunnery Sergeant Salvatore Rignola, a Staten Island resident, has been awarded the New York State Medal for Meritorious Service in recognition of his service as the Naval Militia's senior enlisted leader in downstate New York

Rignola was honored for his service from December 2014 to May 2018 while serving in a number of administrative positions for the 2,800-member New York Naval Militia.

The New York Naval Militia is composed of current Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Reserve members who agree to serve on state active duty when called by the state of New York. They put the skills they've honed in federal military service to work for New York's citizens.

A small number of Naval Militia personnel are retired military members.

Naval Militia members responded to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the Buffalo snowstorm in 2014, Lake Ontario flooding in 2017 and snow storms in the Hudson Valley earlier this year.

The Naval Militia also operates a fleet of nine patrol boats which respond to state emergencies, augment law enforcement agencies and support the U.S. Coast Guard.

The New York State Medal for Meritorious Service is awarded to members of the New York National Guard, the New York Naval Militia or the New York Guard who distinguish themselves by exceptionally meritorious achievement or exceptionally meritorious service.

Rignola was recognized for developing a training program for naval militia gunnery sergeants and chief petty officers, and establishing a program for selecting trainers.

He was also active in recruiting members of the Marine Corps Reserves into the Naval Militia. Rignola was also recognized for instituting more effective muster and reporting procedures for Naval Militia members.

The award was presented to Rignola during a June 22 ceremony prior to a change of command ceremony in which responsibility for the New York Naval Militia passed from Naval Militia Rear Admiral Ten Eyck Powell to Rear Admiral Timothy Zakriski.

In civilian life Rignola is a member of the New York Fire Department.