Twice a Reservist, Combat Camera Chief Serving as FEMA Reservist
By Maj. Hamilton Underwood, 4th Combat Camera Squadron
/ Published September 13, 2017
JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- When Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast and landed in Houston, Chief Master Sgt. Matt Proietti, 4th Combat Camera Squadron superintendent, at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, knew the distinct possibility existed that Citizen Airmen from his unit may be tasked to document rescue and recovery operations, and he was right.
The Chief also knew that he was very likely to be recalled by his other “reserve unit,” the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and he was right again.
The chief recently reported to Joint Field Office Austin, Texas, to begin a 30 day activation. Proeitti isn’t alone as a dual-hat military-FEMA reservist. He’s working alongside coast guardsmen and soldiers who likewise, received the call to be reservists twice.
“I love the FEMA reservist program. It's very well organized," said Proeitti. "Hundreds of people -- thousands in this case -- leave their homes to come together to help our fellow citizens when they need us. You get a deployment request, travel the next day and the day after that you're contributing to disaster recovery.”
Proeitti has been serving as a FEMA reservist since 2004 and supported disaster relief efforts in Iowa, North Carolina, Kansas, New Jersey and Louisiana. A multiple Thomas Jefferson Award winner and author of Chief of Staff Reading List selection, 'At All Costs', he’s utilizing the public affairs skills he’s gained as a Reserve Citizen Airman to inform and educate his fellow citizens about FEMA’s efforts to come to the aide of their community.
“I'm leading a team of six writers who are producing news releases, fact sheets and talking points aimed at explaining how those affected by Hurricane Harvey can apply for federal assistance," said Proeitti, “It's not Shakespeare, but it's essential!”