Recognizing employers who support our reserves

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When reserve Chief Warrant Officer Fred Eshelman was activated on a two-year contract with the Coast Guard Office of Boat Forces, his full-time civilian employer not only supported his rights and needs while he was away but also went above and beyond to ensure his mobilization was seamless.

“We rely heavily on the Coast Guard Reserve force as a necessary capability to support and ensure the safety and security of the nation,” said Lt. j.g. Warren Fair, Coast Guard Office of Boat Forces. “When reservists are away from their regular job, it is important to know that their employers are supportive of their efforts. This allows them to fully focus on their assigned missions.”

Coast Guard presents ESGR personal award to UPS employee Thomas Wolfe
Lt. j.g. Warren Fair presents Thomas Wolfe, UPS Mid Atlantic Division, a personal award on Oct. 11, 2011, for his outstanding support of Coast Guard reservist Fred Eshelman. Photo courtesy of Lt. j.g Warren Fair.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense organization, recognizes employers who provide outstanding support of service members. ESGR’s vision is to develop and promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees.

Recently, the Coast Guard presented Eshelman’s employer, UPS Mid Atlantic District, with an ESGR Patriot Award.

“UPS has policies in place that go above and beyond what is required such as pay differential and continuation of medical benefits,” said Eshelman. “Additionally, my boss understood my background with the Coast Guard would be a natural fit for my current assignment at UPS with the security department. It’s a win-win situation.”

Eshelman’s boss even checked in on his family from time to time while he was gone.

“While that may not be a big deal to some, it meant the world to me knowing that there was a support structure at the house that could help out if needed when I was away. He didn’t have to do that,” noted Eshelman.

Coast Guard presents ESGR Patriot Award to UPS
The Coast Guard presented UPS Mid Atlantic District the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve Patriot Award Oct. 11, 2011 for outstanding support of Coast Guard reserve Fred Eshelman. From left to right: Thomas Wolfe, Fred Eshelman, Lt. j.g. Warren Fair and Rich Toth (UPS Mid Atlantic human resources). Photo courtesy of Lt. j.g Warren Fair.

Just as the Coast Guard relies on the flexibility and responsiveness of the nearly 8,000 men and women who make up our reserve workforce, the reserves rely on their employers’ support when they are called to serve. In this way, civilian employers play a critical role in helping to safeguard America’s maritime interests at home and abroad.

Do you know an employer that deserves recognition for their leadership and personnel policies that support employee participation in the Guard and Reserve? If so, head over to the ESGR website for more information and nominate them for an award today.

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