Employer awards recognize outstanding support for reservists
Reservists acknowledge their employers
By Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Moody
Steven Sumida, left, and Eric Gilstrap, right, receive the Patriot Award from the
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Staff Sgt. Michael Pritchett, center,
nominated Frontier Communications for the award.
(446th AW PA) - Sometimes it may not be easy for a citizen airman to balance
his or her family life, military commitment, and civilian career. But having a strong
backing from an employer who understands the importance of the Reserve and
National Guard components can make it a little easier for them.
That's why there are awards available to recognize these employers. Reservists
who want to acknowledge their employer for their support can nominate them for
one of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve recognition awards.
The focus of the ESGR is to promote an understanding and the importance of the
Reserve and National Guard functions to employers, as well as encourage
employers in the development of human resource policies and practices that
support an employee's participation in the military.
Staff Sgt. Michael Pritchett, 36th Aerial Port Squadron ramp specialist at
McChord Field, recognized his employer Frontier Communications, by
nominating them for the ESGR Patriot Award. During a ceremony in Beaverton,
Ore., Kandice Newton, Oregon ESGR representative and Sergeant Pritchett
presented Eric Gilstrap and Steven Sumida, Frontier Communications
managers, with ESGR's Patriot Award Certificate of Appreciation and a Patriot
lapel pin on behalf of the Department of Defense.
"My employer has been more than willing to work with my Reserve schedule
regarding weekend duty and military training," said Pritchett. "With my
deployment in November, they have shown multiple avenues of support for the
military mission. It is great to be able work for them," said the Frontier
Communications technician. Pritchett is currently deployed to Afghanistan in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Newton knows what it's like to work with many supportive companies like Frontier
"Frontier Communications signed a Statement of Support and stated their
willingness to assist with future events such as Transition Assistance Program
workshops and job fairs held specifically for veterans, guardsmen and reservists
seeking employment," said Newton.
For more information on these awards, visit www.esgr.org.