Veterans Service Agency Director, Marcelle Leis, Retired CMSgt

Chief Master Sergeant (Ret) Marcelle Leis; USAF/New York Air National Guard, retired with 24 years total service. Tours included 106th Mission Support Group First Sergeant (1999-2003), deployment to Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait (2001), and multiple stateside tours in support of the National Guard Bureau’s enlisted force development initiatives (2004-2010). Chief Leis was activated for numerous humanitarian community relief efforts during her career to include Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Some of her notable military awards: 2 Air Force Meritorious Service Medals, 3 Air Force Commendation Medals, 3 Air Force Achievement Medals, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, 2 National Defense Service Medals, NYS Conspicuous Cross, and the Humane Service to NYS Medal. After retirement she began working with the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project as a Veteran Peer Mentor and worked her way up to Director of Veteran Services, aiding veterans by offering support and connecting resources necessary to encourage wellness as they reintegrate from military service and transition to civilian life. Most recently, Marcelle was appointed Director, Suffolk County Veteran Services Agency. Additionally, Marcelle serves on numerous Veteran Advisory Boards to include the Long Island State Veterans Home.

Veterans Service Aide, James Fava

James served on active duty in the U.S. Army for 4 and a half years as a 91B Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic. After completing his Basic and Advanced training in Fort Jackson, SC, he was stationed in Vilseck Germany where he was assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. While stationed there James participated in various multinational training exercises and went on multiple support missions through the Baltic States. After re-enlisting James was then sent to Fort Hood, TX where he was assigned to F Company 6/9 Squadron in the 3rd Armor Brigade Combat Team in the 1st Cavalry Division. There he served as a team leader for the Search and Recovery Squad. While assigned to F Company, James Deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a part of Operation Spartan Shield in 2017. Shortly after returning to the United States, James separated from the Army. During his service, James earned the Army Commendation Medal, The Army Achievement Medal(3), The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, The Overseas Service Ribbon, The Army Service Ribbon, The National Defense Service Ribbon, and the Army Good Conduct Medal. James is proud to be a part of the Veteran Services Agency to help his fellow veterans get the resources they need.

Veterans Service Aide, Catrina James

Catrina started her military career in 1999. She served active duty in the United States Air Force for almost 5 years as Security Forces Military Police. Her service began at Lackland Air Force Base with the 323 Training Squadron for basic training and then Technical School for Military Police. This was the beginning of a 17 and half year Law enforcement career. Upon completion of technical school Catrina was transferred to Ellsworth Air Force Base 28th Security Forces Squadron where she protected priority A resources, assisted in Support missions, disaster response exercises, tactical response to in-flight emergencies and threats on the flightline as well as security operations and investigations. In 2000 Catrina was transferred to Aviano Air Base 31 Security Forces Squadron where she supported security operations in direct support to OIF/OEF. She performed Funeral Honors and served in support of the Global War on Terrorism until the end of her military career in 2003. During her service she earned the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, Air Force Training Ribbon and NATO Medal. Catrina transitioned to civilian life and continued her career in Law Enforcement. She continued her Funeral Honors and Color Guard in Law Enforcement academy graduations, funerals, veteran funerals and Color Guard events across NY State Boroughs and Long Island. Catrina is currently attending Western Governors University where she is pursuing her B.S. Business Administration Degree in Information Technology Management. Catrina advocates for veterans and veterans’ families and is proud to be a member of the Veterans Service Agency. Her efforts are dedicated to serve, educate and support the Veterans community.

Veterans Service Officer, Cody Kilroy

Beginning in 2009 Cody served 6 years with the New York Army National Guard as a 31B Military Police Officer. His service began at Fort Leonard Wood, MO where he attended OSUT (One Station Unit Training) for basic military training, and military police training. Upon completion of his initial training he was assigned to the 442nd Military Police Company in Jamaica, NY. In 2011 Cody was transferred to the 107th Military Police Company in Utica, NY as part of a team being called to active duty to deploy to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to assist with the Detainee Operations mission in direct support of OIF / OEF operations. While deployed Cody attained the rank of Specialist (E-4) and served as a team leader in his platoon which functioned as the quick reaction force responsible for tactical response to emergencies in and around the prison facilities. Upon completion of his active duty service Cody was transferred back to the 442nd Military Police Company which assisted in the disaster response efforts during hurricane Sandy, as well as assisting with security operations for various events throughout the state. Prior to joining the Veterans Services Agency Cody served in various law enforcement positions at the federal, state, and local levels for several years. For Cody’s military service he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ “M” device, the New York State Long and Faithful Service Ribbon, the New York State Humanitarian Service Ribbon, and the New York State Operation Enduring Freedom Service Ribbon. Cody is also attending Suffolk County Community College where he is working towards a degree in Human Services. Cody is proud to be a member of the Veterans Services Agency and to help make a difference in the lives of veterans.

Veterans Service Aide, Scott McCord

Scott served as a member of the US Navy on Active Duty for 5 years as a member of Auxiliary Division on board the USS Key West, a fast attack submarine stationed out of Polaris Point Submarine Base in Santa Rita, Guam. During his service there, he earned his Submarine Warfare Qualification Pin, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), Global War on Terror Medal, Sea Service Ribbon, and Oversea Service Ribbon. He then transitioned into the Naval Reserve where he was station with Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 8 headquarters in Newport, RI, earning the Battle “E” Ribbon for each of the 5 years he was attached to them. After deploying with MSRON, Scott transferred to Surgemain NYC, supporting Portsmouth Naval Shipyard working with the Pipefitters shop. During his time in the reserve, Scott also supported the Funeral Honors team, performing hundreds of veteran funerals and other color guard events across Long Island.

Veterans Service Officer, Keith O’Reilly

Prior to joining the Veterans Agency, Keith spent a number of years in private industry/Retail world i.e.- Drug Stores, Supermarkets working as a supervisor or manager in the security safety end of the business world. Keith’s Military service encompassed 4 years of Active Duty in the U.S. Navy. He served aboard the USS Butte (AE-27) based out of Early Naval Weapons Station in Earl New Jersey as a member of the Deck Department. Keith then served on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) based out of Norfolk Naval Base as a member of the deck department where he received his promotion to Petty Officer 3rd Class Boatswain’s Mate. Keith received letters of appreciation and commendation from the commanding officers of the USS Eisenhower for work during various shipboard work. He was awarded the Navy Battle “E” ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal.

Veterans Service Officer, Gary W. Richard, Retired 1SG

Gary served active duty in the U.S. Army for thirty years. He was a Grenada, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan veteran. While in service he was a First Sergeant for the Airborne Infantry 151st TIOG/Special Operations Command. He was awarded the Bronze Star w/V device, Purple Heart w/Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, ARCOM, AAM, Good Conduct Medal, Expeditionary Medal, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, SWA Medal, AFRAM, ASR, NDSM w/BS, AOVSM, NCODP w/3, OSR w/2, IRAQ Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, GWOT Medal, ARCAM, Air Assault Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge 2nd award, Master Airborne Badge, Drivers Badge w/wheel and track, Expert Rifle Badge w/pistol and Machine Gun tab, Gold Recruiters Badge, Infantry Cord, Order of Saint Barbara Medal, Army Outstanding Unit Citation w/BS, Unit Meritorious Unit Citation. In December 2013, he completed his Master’s Degree in Human Services Leadership. He is an advocate for veterans and advocate of the Burn Pits issue.

Veterans Service Officer, Brian Rooney

Brian served in the United States Navy for five years active duty as a Quartermaster onboard DDG-51 USS Arleigh Burke. Within those five years, his ship supported Joint-Warrior operations with all NATO ships off the coast of Scotland in 2009 and 2011, pirate operations off the coast of Africa in 2009, and in 2012, supported Israel in numerous operations. During his service on active duty, he has earned his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist pin. He served in the Navy Reserves as a Quarter Master First Class Surface Warfare from 2015 to 2021. In the reserves, QM1(SW) Rooney is on the funeral honor guard and services veteran families all over Long Island, and deployed to Bahrain in 2019-2020 in order to protect maritime merchant vessels. Brian has earned the Armed Forces Reserve medal enlisted, 3 Good Conduct medals, GWOT Expeditionary medal, GWOT, Navy Rifle Marksmen ribbon, military outstanding volunteer award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal, National Defense medal, 2 Navy “E” Ribbons, Navy Pistol Sharp Shooter ribbon, 2 Sea Service Deployment ribbons, Inherent Resolve Campaign medal, Navy and Marine Corps oversea service ribbon and Surface Warfare Insignia. In 2017 Brian received his Bachelors degree for Human Services from St. Joseph’s College. Mr. Rooney takes pride in serving veterans and veterans families and continue his service to his community as a Veterans Service Officer.

Veterans Service Aide, Phil Vanrossum, Retired SFC

Phil served in the New York Army National Guard for twenty-one years from 2002 – 2023 as a 91X Heavy Wheel Mechanic. After completing basic training and AIT, he was assigned to the 642 Aviation based in Ronkonkoma NY, where he had his 1st deployment in 2004- 2005 in Iraq in support of operation OIF. He performed his MOS all of two months. The rest of the deployment he did force protection and quick reaction force(QRF) for the base. During that deployment, Phil received his E5 and upon completion he was transferred to the newly developed 222 Chemical company, based in Brooklyn NY, where he was assigned as a squad leader for a squad of eight mechanics. In that unit, he was a part of a state side chemical mission which was named CERF P, he worked with over eight different federal/state agencies. In 2016, Phil was requested in the 369th sustainment brigade to deploy with them in support of Operation Spartan Shield. He was attached to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, as a K9 Liaison on Air Base Ali Al Salem Kuwait, working directly for CENTCOM. After his 2nd deployment Phil was transferred to the 133rd Composite Supply Company based in Brooklyn NY as a platoon sergeant. As an E7, he was placed as an acting 1SG during the covid mission and his unit, the 133rd CSC, was the 1st unit to be activated to the Jacob Javits Center. There he and his unit were responsible for creating the main warehouse for all medical supplies for the covid mission and to setup/uproot the makeshift hospital in the Javits Center. During this mission Phil worked with several different federal and state agencies. Throughout his 21 years, Phil has a number of awards and medals which includes Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM), Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon(3rd Award), Army Service Ribbon, overseas Service Ribbon(2nd Award), Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device and a number of state medals. Phil is happy to be a member of the Veterans Service Agency and to continue his service helping veterans and their families.