For National Guard and Reserve service members, combining military service with civilian responsibilities can be an overlooked challenge. It’s about more than volunteering their time to our nation’s military. It’s also about sacrificing family, friends, relationships, and careers.
While not all of that sacrifice can be mitigated, an organization like Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, or ESGR, can help support service members and their employers with employment stability.
"Our mission, actually, is to create an atmosphere and a culture where the service of guardsmen and reserves is appreciated and understood by the community at large, and in particular, those who employ them."
That’s the Utah state chair for ESGR, Bart Davis. He says reservists and National Guard members make excellent employees.
"They inherently understand how to be a party of a team. They know how to lead, they know how to follow. They know how to take responsibility. They understand how to identify goals and objectives and how to reach them. We're finding more and more all the time that employers are recognizing all of those skills and looking to hire veterans to improve their workforce."
Davis says some Utah employers have stepped up in a big way.
"We just simply run out of room at South Towne Expo, both government agencies and private enterprises that were looking veterans. We had probably 80-plus appointments made for interviews in the next two or three days."
Davis would like to remind everyone that the service members aren’t the only ones who sacrifice.
"But I'm always anxious to put in a plug for the families of those folks. They pay a great sacrifice, and I think that's not fully realized or appreciated a lot of times. And again, certainly the employers, who have to make a major adjustment when their employees are mobilized. So it's kind of a total-force concept that includes families, service members, and employers, and I think we about got that right."