Breaking the ice

Indiana National Guard, Joint Force Headquarters
Story by Staff Sgt. Les Newport

Date: 02.04.2013
Posted: 02.14.2013 10:44
News ID: 101992
Breaking the ice

ST. IGNACE, Mich. – Elizabeth Ransom, director of the Indiana ESGR, said Boss Lifts are the best way to build strong and relevant relations with civilian employers of reserve-component troops.

The U.S. Coast Guard Mackinaw, a heavy icebreaking ship, which operates in the Great Lakes, welcomed employers of Indiana Reservists and National Guardsmen in February 2013. The visit, known as a Boss Lift, was coordinated by Indiana’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program.

The ESGR coordinates Boss Lifts, operational visits to provide civilian employers an up-close look at defense personnel in action, to help build awareness of the importance of reserve-component service. The Coast Guard icebreaker has proven to be a favorite among civilian employers.

Indiana Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Brian Copes, Chief of the Joint Staff of the Indiana National Guard, welcomed the group.

“I want every one of you to know that today you are our honored guests,” said Copes. “Your presence here is an indication of the support you have already shown, so please enjoy yourselves and stay warm.”

The ESGR provided a short presentation to provide civilian employers with insight into resources and support available to reserve-component troops and their civilian employers, the employers boarded the Mackinaw and departed for an ice-breaking mission in the Straits of Mackinac.

The ice breaker is the only U.S. Coast Guard heavy ice breaking resource assigned to the Great Lakes, which keeps channels and harbors open to navigation in response to the reasonable demands of commerce to meet the winter shipping needs of industry. In addition to heavy icebreaking, the Mackinaw has state-of-the-art systems and multi-mission capabilities: buoy service, search and rescue, law enforcement and the ability to deploy an oil skimming system to respond to oil spill situations.

Elizabeth Ransom, director of the Indiana ESGR, said Boss Lifts are the best way to build strong and relevant relations with civilian employers of reserve-component troops.

“We know there are hardships on the employer when their employees are out for six months or a year; it is tough. But we like to think that they are getting pretty good employees because they are drug free, they receive additional military training and professional leadership that can be brought to the workplace,” said Ransom.

She also pointed to the ESGR’s Freedom Award as a way for military personnel to thank their employers.

“The Freedom Award allows service members to acknowledge and thank their employers for the essential role they play in supporting their military career and our nation's defense,” said Ransom. “Employers of every size and industry continue to go to extraordinary lengths to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.”