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ESGR in the News


HONOLULU – Sylvia Mann, Director at the Genomics Section, Children with Special Health Needs Branch received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award July 5 for the extraordinary support she provides to her employee, Master Sgt. Jonathan Kimura.

The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic 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.

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.

Kimura expressed, “For over 8 years, I periodically attended National Guard trainings and missions which took me away from my civilian employment. For most of my time with the Hawaii Birth Defects Program (HBDP), my membership in the National Guard did not take me away from my civilian job for more than several weeks to a month at a time. However, this drastically changed from April 2020, when I was called upon to help respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic where I have been away from my civilian job for over 20 months. Understanding the dire need of the communities within the State, Ms. Mann encouraged me to do my duty as a Guardsman despite some of the negative effects that my service would have on the program that I manage. As good supervisors do, she managed the tasks that was not being done due to my absence, either by delegating to subordinate staff or by completing the task herself. The HBDP was able to continue serving the state of Hawaii due to her superb leadership.”

ESGR is a Department of Defense office 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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