AboutCaptain Robert M. Cornicelli is a decorated veteran of two branches of this country’s military. He served alongside America’s bravest men and women for over 20 years in the US Navy, NY Army National Guard, and the US Army National Guard fighting for our right to be free. Growing up, Robert learned that there are no handouts: you want something, you work for it. He saw this firsthand as his parents, Marie and Sal, worked multiple jobs to make enough to support their family.
After graduating from Bethpage Public High School in 1986, Cornicelli chose to pursue a career defending our country. He developed a strong sense of patriotism at a young age. A cornerstone of the Cornicelli family has always been: it’s one's duty to serve his country. Since his grandfather's time in the US Army National Guard, the men in his family had carried on this legacy: Robert’s father had served in the US Navy and his older brother, John, had served and retired as a Major in the US Air Force. Just months after his high school graduation, Robert enlisted in the US Navy and served as a Petty Officer 3rd Class on the USS Kittyhawk for 4 years. In 1990, he returned home to Long Island where he spent another 4 years as part of the US Navy Reserve.
While serving in the Navy Reserve, Cornicelli began his career in public service, working for the Town of Oyster Bay (TOB). Since 1993, he has worked his way up through the ranks tending to matters of public interest first-hand. He began his work for the town as a Sanitation Worker and worked his way up.
Education has always been important in the Cornicelli family. While working for TOB, Cornicelli decided to enroll in Nassau Community College (NCC) to pursue higher education. In 1999, Cornicelli received his Associate’s of Arts (AA) Degree in History and Government. After graduating cum laude from NCC, Robert went on to further his education.
In 2002, Cornicelli graduated from CW Post on Long Island with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science and International Affairs.
In September of 2001, while Robert was still studying to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree, America was attacked on her own soil. Cornicelli knew that when your country calls, you answer the phone. He decided that after he completed his studies and graduated that Academic Year, he would reenlist. Robert spent the next 2 years completing his studies, and training before he reenlisted.
Finally, in 2004, Robert began his officer training in the NY Army National Guard. In 2007, he graduated as not only the top student, but also the oldest one there. Upon completion of his training, Cornicelli served as the Platoon Leader for the Delta Company. In 2012, Robert was deployed by the US Army National Guard to Camp Arifjan located in a combat zone in Kuwait as S-3 Plans Officer.
While overseas, Robert sustained an injury that is 100% service-connected. During his recovery, Robert witnessed the conditions veterans were experiencing upon their returns home. It was during his recovery that he founded the Veteran Recovery Coalition, Inc., a 501(c)3 leading the fight to eradicate veteran homelessness on Long Island.
While recovering at the Warrior Transition Battalion in Fort Belvoir, VA, Cornicelli was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as a Staff Officer until 2015. In July of 2015, Staff Officer Cornicelli was promoted to Executive Officer to the Director at the DIA. He would serve in this capacity for two years before retiring and returning to private life on Long Island with his wife and children.
Upon his retirement, Captain Cornicelli returned back to work for the Town of Oyster Bay as the Town’s Sanitation Inspector Supervisor. Robert is not only active in the community, but also in the media fighting for better treatment of the brave men and women who have served our country. He is the host of the show “In the Ring with CPT C” and the Co-host of “Vets Talk” on “LI in the AM with Jay Oliver”, both of which air on 103.9 LI News Radio. Currently, Cornicelli lives with his wife, Cynthia Lee Cornicelli, his two children, Sienna and Cristian, their cat, Bonkers, and their dog, Mason, in Smithtown, NY.