After four decades of federal service, Tomahawk resident Mark Martello retires

Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

IRON MOUNTAIN, MICH. – After 40 years of federal service, Mark Martello, of Tomahawk, retired from the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, Mich.

Martello’s retirement took effect on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Tomahawk resident Mark Martello retired from the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, Mich., last week, capping 40 years of federal service. Contributed photo.

Martello was born in Chicago, but he got to Wisconsin as soon as he could. He was raised in Tomahawk and is the son of Angelo and Beverly Martello. He graduated from Tomahawk High School, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a Master’s degree in social work.

Martello started his long career in federal service with an enlistment in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service, where he served for six years. Upon discharge from the Navy, he returned to Wisconsin to attend college. He continued to serve in the Wisconsin Army National Guard in Merrill and Antigo during college and graduate school.

After completing his Master’s degree in social work, he returned to active duty, this time with the U.S. Air Force, serving as an Air Force clinical social worker for almost 15 years, retiring at the rank of Major. While in the Air Force, he deployed to Iraq.

After his distinguished military career, Martello continued in federal service with the Veterans Administration. He started at the Tomah VA Medical Center in the Wausau Clinic, working for a year, before transferring to the Oscar G. Johnson VA Health Care System Rhinelander Clinic in 2011. Martello returned to the Department of Defense for a year, working for the Army in Hawaii in 2015-16. He also spent a year working for North Central Healthcare Center in the Merrill and Tomahawk offices in 2018-19 before again returning to the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center Rhinelander Clinic.

Martello ended his service to our nation as the leader of the OGJVAMC Homeless Program, where his team excelled in assisting homeless veterans find and keep stable housing. One hundred percent of the veterans housed by the OGJVAMC Homeless Program in 2023 were housed at the end of the year.

Martello holds independent level licenses in clinical social work in the states of Idaho and Wisconsin. He is a Board-Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work by the American Board of Clinical Social Work. He has completed specialized training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain, Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy for PTSD and Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depression.

Martello has been the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal, Certificate of Recognition-VA National Director of Social Work and the Directors Team Excellence Award-OGJVAMC.

Martello is a lifetime member of VFW Post 2687 in Tomahawk.

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