GREAT FALLS, Mont. – This past weekend members of the United States Army Reserve 889th Quartermaster Company (Supply) of Great Falls Montana learned more about Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The Department of Defense program works to strengthen American employers’ support and value for the military service of their employees in the National Guard and Reserve.
Montana ESGR State Chair Brad Livingston and Montana ESGR Public Relations and Training Director Mike Flaherty presented a two-pronged approach to educating the Reservists about their own rights and responsibilities and that of their civilian employer. First, Reservists were encouraged to communicate openly with their employer in order to develop a relationship that allows them to meet their military obligations and at the same time perform their civilian jobs.
Second, they stressed rewarding supportive employers with a Patriot Award. The award recognizes employers for support provided directly to the nominating Service member and his or her family. Support may be offering time off prior to or after a deployment, flexible work schedules, caring for families and granting a leave of absence if needed.
Reservists learned their spouse is eligible to nominate their own boss for a Patriot Award. Although not required by law, many employers voluntarily assist Guard and Reserve spouses with adjusted work schedules and childcare when a spouse is fulfilling military obligations.
In case of employee-employer conflicts, the informational brief also offered information on the Uniformed Service Employment Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Service members and employers may call the national USERRA hotline, 1-800-336-4590 option 1, for information. ESGR Ombudsman serve as neutral mediators to help reach resolution outside the courtroom.
The Quartermaster Corps provides support to every company level organization. Field service includes aerial delivery, clothing and lightweight textile repair, food services, shower and laundry, mortuary affairs and water purification. The briefing was presented during a recent Battle Assembly, a USAR monthly training sessions.
PHOTO: Montana ESGR Public Affairs and Training Director Mike Flaherty explains the "Top 10 Reasons" employers want to hire members of the Guard and Reserve with United States Army Reserve 889th Quartermaster Company (Supply) at a December Battle Assembly in Great Falls, Montana.