Navy Cmdr. Arthur Castiglia, a reservist, nominated the Orange County, Calif., Sheriff’s Department for the award because the department not only supported him with care packages, but made sure he stayed connected with what was happening in the agency. “Not only did I receive numerous care packages from other deputies and co-workers during my two year deployment, I was also sent numerous department newsletters with each packet to ensure that I remain connected,” Castiglia said.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department began as an elected sheriff and small group of men enforcing the law on horseback, and today is a respected department employing more than 3,600 personnel serving the citizens of Orange County, California. Since 9/11, 118 Guard and reserve members employed by the OCSD have been called to active service and have received supplemental pay to maintain their county salary while serving with the Guard and Reserve.
The OCSD maintains a blog highlighting the dual careers of its Guard and Reserve Staff. Upon return from a deployment, Castiglia says the department allows service members to retain positions on highly competitive specialty details which are not always extended at other agencies. "I am on the SWAT team, and I know I have a place back on the team when I return. I'm fortunate that patriotism and support of its military personnel are part of the culture at OCSD," he said.
His nomination was one of four OCSD received this year, with the other nominations submitted by service members in the Army National Guard and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.