News: ESGR, Pacific Army Reserve honor employers with Patriot Award
Story by Sgt. Elizabeth Cole
PAGO PAGO, American Samoa – The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and the 9th Mission Support Command, based in Honolulu, honored 24 American Samoa-based employers in a special ceremony at the Pele U.S. Army Reserve Center, here, March 23.
Supervisors and managers from companies located throughout American Samoa were presented the Patriot Award for their outstanding support to their warrior citizen employees and the U.S. Army Reserve.
“We understand that it is not easy to have Reserve soldiers as employees when they could be called up at a moment’s notice,” said Bob Borek, chair for the ESGR in Hawaii. “The Patriot Award is an great way for the Reserve and Guard components to not only show appreciation to employers, but to honor them for the sacrifices they have to make when hiring warrior citizens.”
The 9th MSC soldiers were encouraged to nominate their employers through the ESGR website. In total, 37 American Samoa-based employers were nominated and given a certificate of appreciation, bearing an embossed Department of Defense seal, as well as a lapel pin to show their continued support.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to come to American Samoa to meet with the employers of the soldiers based here, and the support we’ve received from this community is truly overwhelming,” said Col. John Ellis, deputy commander for the 9th MSC.
In addition to meeting with the employers, Borek, along with 9th MSC leaders, met with the governor of American Samoa to gain his support of the Army Reserve and the ESGR.
“In our meeting, the governor co-signed a statement of support with the secretary of defense and the ESGR expressing his commitment to support the more than 300 American Samoa Army Reserve soldiers,” said Borek. “We appreciate the commitment of the government of American Samoa to work with the ESGR to ensure members of the Army Reserve are respected in the work place and welcomed upon their return from duty.”
The ESGR’s primary mission is to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military obligation.
However, the organization’s commitment to the Guard and Reserve extends far beyond the legal rights of service members. The ESGR has also developed a new, nationwide program to assist the soldiers in finding employment, known as Hero 2 Hired.
The online program gives soldiers everything they need to find employment from hundreds of job listings in their respective area, to live and virtual hiring events and social networking with potential employers.
Borek explained that the organization is actively reaching out to employers in Hawaii that have signed a statement of support to help soldiers and dependents find jobs to match their skill and geographical requirements.
“Another one of the unique features of the H2H program is after a soldier signs up online, our employment training specialist will contact the soldier to personally help with operating the system, as well as resume building and interview preparation,” said Borek.
Soldiers can nominate their employer or find additional information on the ESGR by visiting www.esgr.mil. Additionally, interested soldiers can sign up for Hero 2 Hired at www.H2H.jobs or download the free app on their mobile device.