Is your business struggling to support employees serving in the National Guard or reserve components of the military? Do you have a citizen warrior who would benefit from additional information relating to their responsibilities to your company? Did you know resources are available right here in our community?
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense operational committee established in 1972, promotes cooperation and understanding between service members and their civilian employers. The ESGR also assists in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. ESGR representatives are volunteers, mostly veterans, who strive to bridge gaps between citizen warriors and their employers. ESGR representatives also act as advocates for National Guard members and reservists by facilitating employment connections and serving as ombudsmen. ESGR assists employers and employees alike in understanding their rights and responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA).
The ESGR motto “We All Serve,” reminds us collaboration is the key to supporting our citizen warriors as they work to strike a balance between military service and civilian employment.
ESGR offers several programs for businesses related to employing National Guard members and reservists. Signing a statement of support is one way employers can thank their citizen warriors and pledge to support the military service of their employees through their policies and actions.
Employers can also participate in the Hero 2 Hired (H2H) program, a comprehensive employment program hosting an online community at https://h2h.jobs with a job search capability, free of charge, for both employers and citizen warriors.
Additional resources include a computer and electronic assistive technology accommodations program (firstname.lastname@example.org) and employer resource guide at www.esgr.mil/Portals/0/NOP/ERG_Updated1.pdf. The guide covers specifics about ESGR, including ombudsman services, answers to questions about USERRA and contact information for those who have additional questions.
For citizen warriors, ESGR offers job search support, help in finding a local ESGR representative and answers about USERRA. There’s even a webpage for military spouses with information about the Family Medical Leave Act.
For employers who’re considering hiring a member of military for the first time but have questions about how it could affect their operations, ESGR can help with that as well.
Members of the military bring to the workplace skills, perspectives and leadership of a different variety, and frequently a higher caliber, than their civilian counterparts. Members of the military also bring to their jobs specific training and an understanding of the values of teamwork, dedication, innovation, diversity and discipline.
While it might be difficult for employers and citizen warriors to see how their skills would fit with a particular business need, there are generally more similarities than differences. The foundation for success is built on putting those skills into a language that both parties can relate to and understand.
To obtain more information or contact an ESGR representative, visit the Colorado website located at