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ESGR in the News


HONOLULU –National Weather Service (NWS) Pacific Region Systems Operations Division Chief Derek Ching, received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award recently for the extraordinary support he provides his employee Col. Mark Kazunaga, 1st Brigade Commander, 91st Training Division.

The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nation’s call to serve. Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.

Sgt. Hans Malala, Forward Support Company, 411th Engineer Battalion, 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 9th Mission Support Command, honors Meteorologist in Charge, Elinor Lutu-McMoore and the NWS Pacific Region Weather Service Forecast Office Pago Pago, American Samoa with a 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Nominee certificate for outstanding support of the Armed Forces.

National Guard and Reserve members bring tremendous skills and capabilities to our workforce, and employer support for their military service is critical to maintaining the strength of our Guard and Reserve units. By valuing the military service of their Guard and Reserve employees, employers are directly supporting the readiness and retention of our All-Volunteer Force, and our national defense.

In addition to Hawaii State Chair Robert Lee providing his remarks and appreciation, Raymond Tanabe, NWS Pacific Region Director expressed his gratitude for the Armed Forces and signed the Statement of Support. By signing this document NWS Pacific Region values and supports those who serve in our country’s armed forces and makes the commitment to fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). National Weather Service Pacific Region appreciates the leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.

ESGR is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the National Guard and Reserve through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. ESGR also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.

For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

Posted in: Hawaii
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