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NEWS | March 18, 2024

Army Reserve MP Soldier receives medal for civilian heroism

By Sgt. Maria Elena Casneiro 361st Theater Public Affairs Support Element

HAUPPAUGE, New York -- Army Reserve Capt. Sean Kalletta, a military police officer with the 200th Military Police Command, received the Carnegie Medal, Feb. 22, for his heroic efforts. Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine presented the medal to Kalletta with family and colleagues present.

On January 2, 2021, Kalletta was on duty as a Suffolk County Police officer. That day Kalletta responded to a house fire and entered the home saving two residents and their dogs.

“I knew that it was a very serious fire when I was driving to the scene because I could see a lot of smoke in the air from about a mile away,” said Kalletta. “When I turned onto the street of the fire was set, I did not see any other emergency vehicles, so I immediately knew that I was going to be the first emergency responder there.

When I arrived at the home the neighbors where outside, and I asked someone if anybody was in the home. When I was told that the homeowners were still inside attempting to rescue their dogs, I knew that it was my duty to do everything that I could to help them, so I ran inside.”

Kalletta was hospitalized for smoke inhalation and an injury sustained while saving one of the dogs.

Kalletta’s dedication to service comes from a long family history with roots that stretch from New York City to Ireland.

“My great grandfather, Lawrence Booton, was a soldier in the Irish Army, he then immigrated to the United States and then joined the United States Army.”

Kalletta serves as commander of the 430th Military Police Detachment, 333th Military Police Brigade, on a part-time basis in a Troop Program Unit position, where he uses his Army Reserve experience to supplement his civilian career in law enforcement.

“My military career truly got its start as an Army ROTC Cadet at Norwich University, The Military College of Vermont. There I learned many things including the importance of self-discipline, physical fitness, mental toughness, academic excellence and service to others before self… I knew that the Military Police Corps was the right fit for me as an officer as I knew that I was also going to be pursuing a career in civilian law enforcement.”

During his time in the Army Reserve, Kalletta added general’s aide to his list of achievements. Working as Deputy Commanding General (Support) Brig. Gen. Vance Kuhner’s aide, Kalletta says “being an aide has helped me to see the big picture and look at things from a more strategic level both in the military and life in general."

“We are immensely proud to have Soldiers like [Kalletta] among us, whose bravery and selflessness exemplify the very essence of heroism and the Army values,” said Kuhner. “His unwavering commitment to serving and protecting our community embodies the values we hold dear and he truly represents the epitome of what it means to be a police officer and an Army Reserve Soldier.”

While it is still a mystery who nominated Officer Sean Kalletta, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission only recognizes 11 percent of the 800 nominations it receives every year.

“The bottom line is that both my military career in the Army Reserve and my police career complement and benefit each other. I am a better Soldier because of my police experience, and I am a better police officer because of my military experience,” said Kalletta.

The Carnegie Medal, first established in 1904, sets to honor those individuals who risk their personal safety to save the lives of others.