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  • What is ESGR?

  • What is ESGR?

    What is ESGR?

    By Delton D. Steele, ESGR State Chair, North Dakota

    Our local and military communities in North Dakota have a long history of mutual sacrifice and support with regard to what is a substantial military presence. The North Dakota committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) appreciates North Dakota’s continued support. Regardless of whether you or a loved one have served part-time in a reserve component or active-duty military, the entire community shares the burdens and enjoys the benefits of our local Guard and reserve units.

    ESGR is a Department of Defense volunteer organization established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between National Guard and Reserve Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment.

    ESGR is supported by a network of more than 3,600 volunteers in 54 committees located across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  We have committee volunteers in Dickinson, Williston, Minot, Bismarck, Jamestown, Fargo and Grand Forks.

    Its mission includes educating service members and their civilian employers on their respective rights and responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994. USERRA is a federal law intended to ensure that individuals who serve or have served in the armed forces, reserve, National Guard or other uniformed services: are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service; are promptly re-employed in their civilian jobs upon their return from military duty; and are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present or future military service. The law is intended to encourage noncareer uniformed service so the United States can enjoy the protection of those services, staffed by qualified people, while maintaining a balance with the needs of private and public employers who also depend on these same individuals.

    As part of this effort, ESGR helps resolve issues or conflicts between employers and service members before they escalate through free mediation services. ESGR facilitates an extensive awards program for supportive employers whose service member employees have nominated them for recognition of their sacrifices. Other outreach activities include Bosslifts, which are unique and exciting opportunities for employers to get a firsthand look at the military training and equipment utilized by their service-member employees.

    The sacrifices of service members and their families in ensuring the safety and stability of our local community is an issue that transcends politics. Since the end of the Vietnam era, our communities have benefited from an all-volunteer military without resorting to a draft. Since the infamous coordinated terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, which motivated the global war on terrorism, the demands on service members and their civilian employers have increased dramatically.

    As taxpayers, we enjoy the additional protection of Guard and reserve units in a manner that is more cost-effective than their full-time counterparts. For their part, local employers gain the benefit of service-member employees who have unique organizational and leadership skills, and who are self-disciplined, physically fit and drug-free.

    ESGR partners with local and national organizations to improve service-member employability and placement. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's Guard and reserve units. Service members who are secure in their civilian work and family life are more able to focus on the missions at hand.

    Our local Guard and reserve units provide unique opportunities for our men and women to benefit from financial assistance in their education, to develop their professional skills, to provide for their families and to support their communities as a whole, often while remaining stationed locally. So cheer them on, appreciate the support of the service members and their families, and encourage local employers to hire and support these brave men and women. Because, in the end, we all serve.

    For more information on ESGR, visit esgr.mil.

    Congrats David Johnston, ESGR James M. Roche Spirit of Volunteerism Award

    David (Dave) Johnston, a member of The Chamber's Military Affairs committee, was awarded the James M. Roche Spirit of Volunteerism Award for his many years of dedicated service to the ESGR. This award is presented to a volunteer who has demonstrated sustained quality service as an ESGR volunteer over a substantial number of years. The award recognizes a volunteer’s patriotism, good citizenship, and public service, at times achieved through great personal sacrifice. This award is the highest award given by ESGR to a state committee volunteer. Dave currently serves as State Vice-Chair of the North Dakota ESGR Committee and is in his fourth year serving in that capacity. He’s been an ESGR volunteer for over 17 years, and also serves as Co-Chair of the Fargo Region ESGR Committee and on the Governor’s Military Task Force.

    “David Johnston is the most dedicated volunteer that I can remember working with after having been involved in numerous volunteer organizations over my 40 years of being a business professional,” said Delton Steele, State Chair of the North Dakota ESGR Committee. “If you want something done, done correctly, professionally, and on time, David Johnston is your volunteer. He goes about his volunteer work in the most humble way and is always the first to recognize those who work with him and deflects any credit for success from himself to others.”

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