Former Navy SEAL Recruiting Female Military Veterans to Work as Nannies
- By JULIA MARSH
- Last Updated: 9:21 AM, February 4, 2013
- Posted: 1:13 AM, February 4, 2013
Gi Jane is coming to a family apartment near you.
Prompted by the Upper West Side slayings of two children by their nanny, a former Navy SEAL has started a company offering to match hypervigilant parents with the ultimate in protection - female military veterans as caregivers.
"That family even went down to the Dominican Republic thinking they were screening the nanny, but they didn't really know who she was," Tactical Nanny creator Jonathan Gilliam said of Marina and Kevin Krim, who lost two of their young children in the horrible attack last year.
"We're not just offering another nanny service. These women have a proven track record. They're veterans protecting the future of the USA," said Gilliam, 43.
The former lieutenant - who once served in the Navy's special operations force, the division that took out Osama bin Laden - said his veteran workers can change diapers as easily as they can reload a semiautomatic.
But they're also trained to protect people - in this case, kids - with their own lives, he said.
"They can keep tragedy from happening. You're paying for the peace of mind," Gilliam said of the service, which costs at least $1,500 a week, or about $30.75 a hour.
One of the no-nonsense nannies already lined up for the Tactical Nanny program is Miami-based Army reservist Melissa Fraga, 23.
As a reservist, she's trained to track enemies and oversee mission communications. She's a certified combat lifesaver, meaning she has high-level first-aid training.
And her résumé says she's also kid-friendly and has taught 4- to 13-year-olds in martial arts.
Asked what sets her apart from your average sitter, Fraga responded, "It's just being able to handle situations under stress.
"Let's say a nanny would freak out if she hears sounds around her. I'd be able to see the situation, figure out where the noise is coming from, check around the house and then do whatever other steps I need," Fraga said.
Gilliam, who has worked as an FBI counterterrorism agent in New York City, said he's already anticipated a concern families might have about employing vets: post-traumatic stress disorder.
He said all the workers at his 3-month-old firm, United States Continued Service, will come with comprehensive military reports that include background checks, training records and an account of any problems during their service.
In addition, Gilliam said he's consulting with a psychologist to match the vets' and families' personalities.
Whether the vets will be armed is up to their bosses.
Upper East Side mom Kathleen Histon, 45, said she's ready to sign up.
"With nannies who have tactical training and security clearance, you're really knowing the quality of the person you bring into your home. There's no price you can put on that," said the investment banker and single mother of two teen girls. "Our government's invested enough money in training them. You're reaping the benefit of that."
Additional reporting by Rebecca Rosenberg