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South Dakota

Committee Leadership

Mr. James White State Chair
Mr. Ron Mielke Chair Emeritus
Mr. Don Kelpin Lewis and Clark Area Chair
Mr. Randy Rakness Glacial Lakes Area Chair
Mr. Mike Birnbaum Black Hills Area Chair
Mr. Ralph Borkowski Ombudsman Director
Vacant Bosslift Director
Ms. Stef Garland Public Affairs Director
Mr. Steve Hauck Employer Outreach Director
Vacant Military Outreach Director
Ms. Lona Christensen Training Director
Ms. Mary De Leeuw/Ms. Gloria Bauske Awards Co-Directors
Ms. Kathleen Schuh Volunteer Coordinator

ESGR, a Department of Defense office, is comprised of dedicated and trained volunteers and staff. We will develop and promote employer support for Guard and Reserve service by advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of applicable laws, and resolving conflict between employers and Service members.

ESGR informs and educates Service members and their civilian employers regarding their rights and responsibilities governed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). ESGR does not have statutory authority to enforce, but serves as a neutral, free resource to employers and service members. ESGR’s trained ombudsmen provide mediation of issues relating to compliance with USERRA.

Contact Information

Priscilla Harkin Volunteer Support Technician 801 W. National Guard Drive
Sioux Falls SD 57104
605-357-2983
priscilla.h.harkin.ctr@mail.mil

CPT Chad Carlson Program Director 2823 West Main Street
Rapid City SD 57702
605-737-6540
chad.j.carlson.mil@mail.mil

News

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April 21, 2021ESGR Recognizes 2020 Volunteers of the Year

ALEXANDRIA, Va. –­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve announces the 2020 Volunteers of the Year (VOTY). Volunteers who serve in following functional and operational areas were nominated by their respective State Committee for the prestigious honor of being named Volunteer of the Year: Military Outreach, Employer Outreach, Public Affairs, Training, Ombudsman, and Operations.

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March 28, 2021Department of Defense Announces 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award FInalists

WASHINGTON – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) proudly announces the 30 finalists for the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The finalists include small and large private and public sector employers nominated by a National Guard or Reserve Component employee employed in their organization. ESGR received 3,382 nominations for this prestigious award for employers throughout the 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and District of Columbia. 

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March 02, 2021ESGR Announces 2021 Employer Support Freedom Award Semifinalists

WASHINGTON – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) program, has identified 140 employers as semifinalists for the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, commonly referred to as the Freedom Award. 

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