Camp Pendleton --
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, CALIF.- “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do,” Sgt. Sarullo, a financial management resource analyst and comptroller chief at School of Infantry - West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, lives by this saying, taking pride in living up to her fullest potential.
Sarullo, a native of Johnstown, New York, has dedicated over 2,000 hours to community service in the past five years to Camp Pendleton and neighboring communities. For these efforts she was awarded the 2023 MCB Camp Pendleton Military Volunteer of the Year award. In addition to working a full-time job overseeing the accounting and financial procedures of SOI-West, she spends her off time volunteering in her local community.
Sarullo was recruited out of Recruiting Station Utica, Recruiting Sub-station Johnstown. After graduating high school, Sarullo looked to the challenge of becoming a United States Marine. She wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself, to give back. Since then, Sarullo has been committed to bettering not only herself but her community as well.
What I love about community service is that it’s really an act of selflessness, said Sarullo, “Just being able to stop thinking about myself and be able to help others. Watching my small acts of kindness have a huge, amazing impact on someone else.”
Sarullo helps the Marines, Sailors and families of MCB Camp Pendleton and in the surrounding communities on a day-to-day basis. She volunteers at multiple different organizations, everything from coaching youth sports to assisting with a designated driver program, helping at the San Diego Humane Society and spending time with veterans at the Ocean Hills Veteran’s Club, as well as a multitude of other activities, such as donating her hair. She does this all while accomplishing her unit's mission and mentoring her Marines.
Coaching soccer on the weekends, Sarullo helps build a positive and inclusive environment for children and families participating in Marine Corps Community Services Camp Pendleton Youth Sports. Coaching kids ages 3-14 she has become a positive role model for her teams, and has prioritized being inclusive of children from all backgrounds, including those with disabilities.
“I’m always looking for volunteer work on and off base to support any community possible,” said Sarullo.
Sarullo also loves working with animals and regularly volunteers at the San Diego Humane Society, helping animals get adopted. Her regular work there includes providing food and water to the pets and cleaning their living spaces.
In 2022, Sarullo was awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and is on track to be recognized again next year.
With the goal of getting a dual bachelor’s degree in both accounting and financing, Sarullo plans to stay in the Marine Corps for 20 years. She has learned to balance work, community service and family life since joining the Marine Corps in 2018 and attributes her motivation to her husband who is also a Marine.
“I only have two hobbies,” admitted Sarullo, “My biggest one is volunteer work, and the other one is spending time with my husband.”
Both on and off duty, Sarullo is committed to the betterment of herself, her Marines, and her community.
I love being able to help Marines, she said. Being able to talk to military leaders and provide them with guidance on how to utilize their money so they can best do their part in the Marine Corps is really fulfilling.
Gunnery Sgt. Jessica Padilla, the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of supply management with SOI-West can attest to Sarullo's contributions both at work and in the community.
“Her actions will have a long lasting impact on those she’s volunteered her time to coach, mentor, and aid. Her volunteer service is admirable and sets the upmost example for her subordinates, peers and seniors to embody,” said Padilla.
Sarullo also embodies the Marine Corps leadership values.
Even before getting promoted to the rank of sergeant and being assigned the platoon sergeant billet, Sarullo was acting as such, said Padilla. In our minds she was acting as a sergeant should, with boldness, tenacity, professionalism, and enthusiasm.
Sarullo encourages those around her to push past their limits.
Get out there and take the next step in life, whether that be in your career or your personal life, said Sarullo, “You never know exactly what you can do without actually trying."
Not only is Sarullo dedicated to bettering the community and her Marines, but she is also committed to improving herself.
“I look at myself on the daily and I have a little journal that I keep by my bed every night and I write everything good that happened in my life for that day, and then after I am done writing all the good, I write what I can do better.”
Sarullo continues to make Camp Pendleton, the community and the world a better place, one small act of kindness at a time.