Much of the success of our Reserves and National Guard is due to the support that they enjoy from their employers. The Federal government has began a series of programs to help bridge the communications gap between reservists that are mobilized and called to active duty, and their employers. Many employers on a national basis are true patriots and are more than happy to support their employees, over and above the amount legislated by the USERRA laws. To help with the understanding and communication, the Federal Government has tried to find new ways to show the employers in the United States what exactly being in the Reserves and National Guard is all about and giving them a chance to observe different elements of their employees service and deployment.
There is a national committee that works to find new ways to foster understanding and recruit support from employers in the United States. It is called the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, or ESGR for short. It is a supported agency of the DoD and helps individual employers as well as large firms gain understanding of what our Reservists and National Guardsmen actually do. The main element of the ESGR is a volunteer network of nearly 4,500 members from every state in the union, as well as the Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and D.C. These members serve on 54 different committees in their own local communities to help foster employer support and assistance.
The force capability and manpower of our active duty services in the Armed Forces today is made up by nearly half of National Guardsmen and Reservists. One of these programs is called
Bosslift. It transports supervisors and employers to different training sites where they can observe Reservist and National Guard members on duty and doing their training. Another program is called “Briefings with the Boss,” and gives the employers a chance to meet different members of the military, such as unit commanders and officers, and to learn about what the National Guard and Reserve in their communities do. It also gives employers a chance to ask questions and have them answered by military personnel.
Last, one of the biggest aids to the ESGR effort is the military Ombudsman Service program. It gives information, provides sources of mediation for disputes, and has a referral service to help with conflicts that arise with employers, employees, and issues of mobilization and deployment.