FARGO, N.D. — Besides being recognized for their military support, local employers had the opportunity today to meet with the executive officer of the USS North Dakota and the national Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve chairman.
The “Lunch with the Boss” event at the Fargo Air Museum presented the Pro Patria Award to three employers: the Fargo Police Department, Bobcat and Simplex Grinnell. Every year, each state’s or territory’s ESGR Committee selects a group of employers that have provided exceptional support of national defense through leadership practices and personnel policies that support employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. The North Dakota businesses recognized today were lauded for various support services, including providing reintegration processes, paying the differences in salaries during training and deployments, and supporting military families.
“We’re getting great support in North Dakota,” Robert O. Wefald, state ESGR chairman, said.
James Rebholz, ESGR national chairman, credited the employers as “partners in defense” who have offered support during not only conflicts but during times of natural disaster response, especially during recent, intense flooding in North Dakota.
“We truly thank you employers for what you do to keep our country safe,” he said.
Lt. Cmdr. Jeremiah Minner, USS North Dakota executive officer, also spoke, telling the crowd what makes the Virginia-class submarine — which is under construction in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Virginia — unique.
The event also highlighted the corporate-level signing of a Statement of Support by Scheels All Sports. The statement acknowledges that Scheels’ 24 stores recognize, honor and enforce the employment rights of employees who serve in the military. It also states that managers and supervisors will have the tools needed to effectively manage those employees, and that they will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families in peace, crisis and war. Scheels also received the Seven Seals Award for being “a staunch patriot and military supporter.”
The award is a “manifestation of the spirit and culture of the company,” Rebholz said.
ESGR is a Department of Defense organization that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. ESGR’s mission is to gain and maintain employer support for members of the National Guard and Reserve by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving conflict through mediation.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,800 Soldiers and more than 1,800 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. About 70 percent of all members serving today have joined since that time. Currently, nearly 400 North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas while about 4,000 remain in the state for emergency response and national defense. For every 10,000 citizens in North Dakota, 65 serve in the North Dakota National Guard, a rate that’s more than four times the national average.
These and other high-resolution photos to accompany this release are available on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ndguard/sets/72157629578334954/with/7132882439/.