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    Iowa employers gain new appreciation for demands on their Citizen-Soldiers through ESGR Boss Lift

    Iowa National Guard ESGR Boss Lift

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Chad Nelson | Lt. Col. Mark Coady, the officer in charge of the Joint Visitor's Bureau, greets the...... read more read more

    SIOUX CITY, IA, UNITED STATES

    07.30.2015

    Story by Spc. Christie Smith 

    135th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa - The Boss Lift, flown by the Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing from Sioux City, Iowa, gave employers a 24-hour glimpse into a day in the life of their Iowa National Guard Citizen-Soldiers as they conducted annual training. The ESGR-guided tour provided employers a dining facility breakfast, meal-ready-to-eat (MRE) lunch, and a behind-the-scenes look at various training sites.

    The old Army adage “hurry up and wait” was the first lesson Iowa employers learned during the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) “Boss Lift” on July 28.

    After experiencing a few weather delays at the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Wing at the Des Moines Airbase, 21 civilian employers and three ESGR volunteers, who serve as liaisons between service members and their civilian employers, boarded a KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft headed for Fort Polk, La.

    The Boss Lift, flown by the Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing from Sioux City, Iowa, gave employers a 24-hour glimpse into a day in the life of their Iowa National Guard Citizen-Soldiers as they conducted annual training. The ESGR-guided tour provided employers a dining facility breakfast, meal-ready-to-eat (MRE) lunch, and a behind-the-scenes look at various training sites.

    ESGR State Chair Dick Rue of Des Moines facilitated the Boss Lift to Fort Polk.

    “The Boss Lift program is a core element of what we do; it allows us to bring employers and Soldiers and other reserve component members together to see what they do on a daily basis,” Rue said.

    The bosses were given a traditional military breakfast at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Warrior dining facility, followed by a presentation by the1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery (with units in Fort Dodge, Algona and Estherville). After seeing the Field Artillery's M119-A2, 105mm Howitzer cannons, the employers toured several training sites, including the Military Operations in Urban Terrain site, which is a mock village designed to replicate a Middle East village.

    The employers also had a chance to see a medical facility on FOB Forge, designed to treat mass casualties.

    Of the 21 Iowa employers from businesses both large and small, 20 had no prior military service.

    Bill Ehm of West Des Moines, Iowa, attended the Boss Lift as a representative from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

    “Having not been in the military, I really didn't have any knowledge of what goes on,” Ehm said. “And I have to say coming here has given me a vision that it's much more complex and involved than what I ever imagined.”

    Rue stressed the importance of the Boss Lift for employers, who may not fully understand the demands their Citizen-Soldiers face.

    “This program is critically important because it aligns the interest of the employer with the interest of the military member,” Rue said, “Our military members have to balance their family life, their employment career, as well as their military career — and if we can get employers onboard to help support the military aspect of their employees, it's a win-win situation.”

    In addition to the Boss Lift, ESGR provides other services to both service members and their civilian employers.

    “The ESGR program is really comprised of three main elements,” Rue explained. “We have our employer outreach, … military outreach, … and then we have our mediation services where our ombudsmen will mediate issues that might occur between employers and servicemembers.”

    Mark Hennessey, an ESGR Area Chairperson from Robins, Iowa, described ESGR's role as both ambassador and advocate for service members in the civilian workforce.

    “[This program] has a huge impact on employers,” Hennessey said. “It really gives them a lot of insight and a full, new appreciation for their service members.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.30.2015
    Date Posted: 07.31.2015 17:44
    Story ID: 171790
    Location: SIOUX CITY, IA, US 

    Web Views: 78
    Downloads: 0
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    Iowa employers gain new appreciation for demands on their Citizen-Soldiers through ESGR Boss Lift