Title: Clinical Social Worker
Company: Kadena Air Base
Location: Okinawa, Japan
Nicole DiGioia, Clinical Social Worker at Kadena Air Base, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Military for dedication, achievements, and leadership in therapy and service to her country.
Currently, Capt. DeGioia provided superior care as a clinical social worker while flourishing with the United States Air Force at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. As part of her responsibilities, she works in an outpatient clinic with active duty members of all services (including guard and reserve members, security clearances, commanders of the base and specific units) and their dependents, focusing on drug and alcohol services and mental health issues. Capt. DiGioia ensures that patients are safe and fit to continue military service, provides psychotherapy and sees patients on a biweekly basis, treats high-interest patients, such as those who are in imminent danger or who have been hospitalized and acts as the liaison for the 18th Rescue Squadron at Kadena Air Base. In addition, she is also the only manager for the local military transgender program.
Capt. DiGioia enlisted in the Air Force in 1996, inspired by her father Lawrence, a medic who had served during the Vietnam War, as well as the death of her cousin, Richard M. Setaro Jr., a pararescueman with the 33rd Rescue Squadron at Kadena Air Base, who was killed in action in 1994 during a training mission in Korea. She was prompted to become involved in social work in general by her advocacy for social justice and teaching people how to advocate for themselves, having previously worked in community service prior to her service in the military, helping in hospitals, providing adult patient care and home visits, as well as working with children in schools for a year.
After taking time away from the military to care for her mother, who was suffering from cancer, Capt. DiGioia obtained a Master of Social Work in 2014 from the Springfield College School of Social Work in Massachusetts. She was subsequently recruited back to the Air Force after earning her degree and was commissioned as a first lieutenant in 2017.
Capt. DiGioia beams with pride over her son Matt Cross’s graduation from basic training in the military. He asked her to wear her uniform as a captain during the tapping out ceremony of his graduation, which made her very happy. She tapped him out and he gave his first salute to her. The moment was captured by her husband, who published it on YouTube, and it attracted millions of views. She is awaiting her promotion to major in a few years.
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