Operation Tribute to Freedom

OTF Soldier Story for July 19, 2010 - Staff Sgt. Sarah Bartolotta

Staff Sergeant Sarah Bartolotta

Current Unit: C Company, 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion
Current Position: Counterintelligence Agent
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Fort Meade, Md.
Hometown: New York City, N.Y.
Years of Service: 6

During Staff Sgt. Sarah Bartolotta’s deployment to Iraq last year, she was able to share a slice of the American way of life – volunteerism and community service – with Iraqi youth.

Through a partnership between the Victory Base Council program and the Iraqi Scouts, Soldiers volunteer alongside local children, ages 3 to 18, who live around Camp Victory near Baghdad, Iraq. Bartolotta and other Soldier volunteers organized opportunities for local children to give back to their community, such as refurbishing a local playground. These activities were also aimed at encouraging the children to support scouting efforts in their own communities.

“The Scout program really gives you sense of why you’re there – hearing directly from them to find out what they think and what is going on,” she said. “I felt like I was seeing the results of what we do here.”

Tapping the pulse of the Iraqi public and witnessing their needs firsthand also supplemented her work as a human intelligence analyst. As the night shift Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge for her unit, she led a team directly responsible for executing counterintelligence missions. Additionally, she compiled assessments and reports to disseminate counterintelligence information about enemy capabilities and adversarial intent.

Originally interested in serving with a military police unit, Bartolotta was encouraged to join a military intelligence unit given her civilian training and education in the technology field. One of the most critical positions in theater and vital to national security, counterintelligence agents must investigate local individuals and organizations to identify and assess national security threats. Agents then take the necessary steps to counter and neutralize threats and opposition.

Reflecting on her experiences both home and abroad, Bartolotta is proud to have served in uniform and is confident of the importance of her service in the counterintelligence field.

“Giving back and knowing that what you do makes a difference, makes me proud to be a Soldier. I know that I am a part of something bigger than myself,” she said.

Originally from the Upper East Side of New York City, Bartolotta continues to serve with the 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Meade, Md. She is currently attending American Military University and works with the Army full-time handling training and administration matters for the Army Reserve. She is committed to lifelong learning and in the future, she hopes to become a warrant officer.

“I have a lot of military education and will get as much schooling as I can. I feel the more knowledge you have, the more capable you are to lead,” she said.

Telling the Army Story: Community Relations

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