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NEWS | April 23, 2020

Veteran embraces new job as retirement services officer

By Ms. Erica Carrescia

Shortly after arriving at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Arleen Coates realized her new job was going to be the most rewarding of her career. Team Tobyhanna welcomed its first full-time retirement services officer in January.

Coates and her team provide pre-retirement and retirement services to military members on active duty, veterans and family members in the armed forces of the United States. The Retirement Services Office (RSO) staff, among other things, is trained to help clients choose survivor electives for spouses and children, and update information to reflect major changes, such as death or divorce.

The retired Army officer leads an all-volunteer force that dedicates more than 5,000 hours a year to helping people in 17 counties throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“These volunteers can help retirees navigate through their military benefit programs,” Coates said.

Terrance Costello, military retiree, recently took advantage of the services available at the RSO.

“They provided valuable services to me, and I appreciate all their help,” Costello said, stating the one-on-one pre-retirement counseling was beneficial.

Coates intends to share her vast military knowledge to assist the more than 33,000 retired, active duty, Reserve and National Guard personnel who live in the area.

“Military retirement services guides and assists both active and retired Soldiers during and after retirement. The RSO is here to help with pre-retirement planning to retirement applications and post-retirement benefits selection," said Coates.

Staff members are also available to help with wills and powers of attorney or support family members when there is a loss of a military retiree. For more information about the Retirement Services Office, call 570-615-7019.