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Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

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					Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve




             Unit Handbook
              January 2005
            Revised October 2004
           Revised November 2002
                              TABLE OF CONTENTS


Establishing A Successful Program                 3

About ESGR                                        4

The Employer Database                             6

Awards and Recognition                            6

Bosslift Program                                  7

Briefing With The Boss                            8

Five-Star Statement of Support                    8

Funding for Employer Events                       9

Mobilization Factsheet                            10

Demobilization Factsheet                          11

Annex A: GaNG Form 0015                           12

Annex B: Application for Reinstatement            13




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                     ESTABLISHING A SUCCESSFUL ESGR PROGAM
    1.        Update Employer information for all service members in unit on GANG Form 0015 Rev
              Jun 04. Submit forms to State ESGR Office or make online entry into ESGR Database.

    2.        Establish relationship with local ESGR volunteer.

    3.        Become familiar with ESGR programs.

    4.        Provide yearly USERRA briefing to service members.

    5.        Recognize employers with PATRIOT AWARD submissions.

    6.        Keep employers involved and informed (Briefing With The Boss, Bosslifts, etc.)

    7.        Establish community support and awareness by having employers and community leaders
              sign Statements of Support.

                        Georgia Department of Defense (GADOD) ESGR Office


 Title                               Name                    Telephone      E-Mail Address
                                                               Number

 State Manager                       Barbara McCaa           678-569-6023   Barbara.McCaa@ga.ngb.army.mil

 ESGR Program Coordinator            William Phillips        678-569-6455   William.Phillips@ga.ngb.army.mil

 Public Affairs Specialist           Amesheia Buckner        678-569-6434   Amesheia.Buckner@ga.ngb.army.mil



                                      ESGR STATE COMMITTEE

 Chair                               Thomas A. Wessels       770-858-1202   ChairGAESGR@aol.com

 Vice-Chair                          Jim Redmond             770-396-6983   GAESGR@BellSouth.net

 Program Support Specialist          Penelope Harbour        678-569-6037   Penelope.Harbour@ga.ngb.army.mil

 Ombudsman Coordinator               Robert Bruhns           770-978-0276   runandboat@aol.com

 Ombudsman Representative            Courtney Franchio       678-655-5056   Courtney.franchio@dobbins.af.mil

 Ombudsman Representative            Chip McWilliams         404-888-3819   Richard.McWilliams@us.army.mil

 Awards & Decorations Chairman       Tucker Haught           478-929-3676   hdftucker@aol.com

 Ombudsman Representative            Darenda Rogers          678-569-6455   Darenda.Rogers@ga.ngb.army.mil



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                                           ABOUT ESGR

What is the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and
Reserve?
The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (NCESGR) is an agency
within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. It was established in 1972
to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian
employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment.
Today, ESGR operates through a network of more than 4,500 volunteers throughout 55 committees
located in each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Europe.

The nation's Ready Reserve components comprise approximately 46 percent of our total available
military manpower, excluding retirees. The current National Defense Strategy indicates that the
National Guard and Reserve, while decreasing in size, will be full partners in the fully integrated Total
Force. Our Reserve forces will spend more time away from the workplace defending the nation,
supporting a demanding operations tempo, and training to maintain their mission readiness.

The Department of Defense (DOD) tasks ESGR to "…promote both public and private
understanding of the National Guard and Reserve in order to gain U.S. employer and community
support through programs and personnel policies and practices that shall encourage employee and
citizen participation in National Guard and Reserve programs." (DOD Directive 1250.1).

How Do We “Gain and Maintain Active Employers”?

The success of the nation's defense is dependent on the availability of highly trained members of the
"Total Force." Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve's mission is to obtain employer and
community support so that we ensure the availability and readiness of Reserve forces.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve has a national and local organizational structure to
support the following functions:

       Operate a proactive program directed at U.S. employers, employees, and communities that
        ensures understanding and appreciation of the role of the National Guard and Reserve in the
        context of the DOD Total Force Policy.

       Encourage and assist employee participation in National Guard and Reserve training programs
        and while on military duty, without civilian job impediments of any kind. Such participation
        includes voluntary compliance with federal and state statutes governing employment and
        reemployment rights of Reserve component members.

       Recruit and develop volunteer leaders at the national and local levels to promote the
        development of employer personnel policies and practices that accommodate and facilitate
        employee participation in National Guard and Reserve activities.




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      Encourage interaction between National Guard and Reserve units and their communities to
       promote public understanding of the National Guard and Reserve and encourage partnerships
       between civilian organizations and military units in the community.

      Assist in preventing, resolving, or reducing employer and/or employee problems and
       misunderstandings that result from National Guard or Reserve membership, training, or duty
       requirements through information services and informal mediation.

      Assist in educating National Guard and Reserve members regarding their obligations and
       responsibilities to their employers.

      Use the military chain of command to promote better understanding of the importance of
       maintaining positive working relations between employers and their Reserve component
       employees, in order to sustain National Guard and Reserve participation.

      Solicit the assistance of military agencies, military training schools, and military and civilian
       associations in educating the Reserve forces about their rights and responsibilities regarding
       terms and conditions of civilian employment, as stipulated in the Uniformed Services
       Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

      Promote civilian and military personnel management practices that encourage membership in
       the National Guard or the Reserve.

The History of ESGR:
When the end of the draft was initially anticipated, Defense planners foresaw a potential problem with
the nation's Reserve service members and their civilian employers. Long accustomed to National
Guard and Reserve membership as an alternative to compulsory active-duty service, it was believed that
employers might question the necessity of service in a purely voluntary military system. The planners
concluded that some employers might not be supportive of their workers serving voluntarily in
uniform.

The Department of Defense chartered the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard
and Reserve (ESGR) over 30 years ago:

       1. to inform employers of the ever-increasing importance of the National Guard and Reserve;
          and

       2. to explain the necessity for and role of these forces in national defense.

ESGR seeks to gain and reinforce the support of America's employers for a strong National Guard and
Reserve program.

Originally consisting of a small, select, volunteer panel of distinguished Americans representing
business, government, labor, and military, ESGR directed most of their efforts at their peers. It soon
became apparent that this purely top-level effort was insufficient. Throughout the years, studies
showed that nearly a third of the men and women surveyed about why they were leaving the National
Guard and Reserve still indicated "employment conflict" as the source of their decision.

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Identifying the need to expand its outreach, the national ESGR leadership established a nationwide
network of local employer support volunteers, organized into ESGR Committees within each state, the
District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In this way, ESGR could bring the
message to all employers, large and small, in cities, towns, and rural areas.

Today, nearly 4,500 volunteer executives, senior government representatives, educators, and military
personnel serve on local Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Committees. With help and
resources from the National ESGR Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, the 55 ESGR Committees
conduct employer support programs, including Bosslifts, Briefings with the Boss, Ombudsman
Services, and recognition of employers whose policies support or encourage participation in the
National Guard and Reserve.

By explaining the missions of the National Guard and Reserve and by increasing public awareness of
the role of the employer, they develop a dialogue among employers, the ESGR Committees, and local
National Guard and Reserve unit commanders and members. ESGR Committee members also
provide information to the National Chair on specific problems. This information helps point out
regional or national trends that affect recruiting, retention and training of the National Guard and
Reserve.


                            THE EMPLOYER DATABASE
The Georgia Department of Defense State Office for ESGR has developed an Employer Database to
catalog employers and track calls received in this office. The information added to this database allows
the state office to track employment issues, catalog employer information for Mobilizations and
Demobilizations, and improve the function of helping educate employers and employees on their rights
and responsibilities.

In order to maintain the database, the state office requires each service member to complete a GANG
Form 0015. This form should be filled out completely and forwarded to the Georgia Department of
Defense ESGR State Office or faxed to (678) 569-6262. (See ANNEX A for a copy of the GaNG
FORM 0015.)


                          AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (NCESGR) sponsors an
awards program designed to recognize employers for employment policies and practices that are
supportive of their employees' participation in the National Guard and Reserve. All employer
recognition and awards originate from nominations by individual Reserve component members.
Depending on the degree of support, the level of recognition rises to the "Employer Support Freedom
Award," given by the Secretary of Defense. Employer awards include:

   "Patriot Award" Certificate of Appreciation: ESGR awards this certificate and a Patriot lapel
   pin on behalf of the Department of Defense. All members of the National Guard and Reserve
   forces are eligible to nominate their employers for the "Patriot Award" certificate. This employer
   recognition is the most frequently presented award.

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    A certificate will be given to all employers who are nominated. This nomination is subsequently
    used by the local ESGR Committee as the basis for consideration to receive higher-level awards.

    Local ESGR Committee Chair's Award: This award is given in limited numbers and presented
    annually by each ESGR Committee. It is designed to recognize those employers who have gone
    above and beyond the legal requirements for granting leave for military duty.

    PRO PATRIA Award: This award is presented to those employers who demonstrate exceptional
    support for our national defense by adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to
    participate in the National Guard and Reserve. Each committee may give only one PRO PATRIA
    annually.

    Employer Support Freedom Awards: The Secretary of Defense presents these awards, ESGR’s
    most prestigious, annually to employers. It recognizes unique support from an employer to National
    Guard and Reserve employees. The nation's most supportive employers receive the awards at a
    ceremony held annually in November.

The easiest way to nominate an employer is to use the Patriot Award form on the National web site at
www.esgr.org, click on the “Military Members” tab then click on “Patriot Award”. Once a Patriot Award form
is completed, it will be forwarded to the GA ESGR State Committee. The committee will set up a
date and time for the presentation of the award. This event usually consists of a committee member(s),
key personnel within the employers’ organization, and service member(s) who are a part of the
employers’ organization.

                                    BOSSLIFT PROGRAM
Bosslifts transport employers and supervisors to military training sites where they observe National
Guard and Reserve members on duty as part of the Total Force. This provides the employer a better
understanding of what their Reservists do when they are away from their civilian occupation for duty
with their military units. Employers see firsthand the type and quality of military training and
leadership activities National Guard and Reserve members receive. The selected sites for Bosslifts
usually emphasize National Guard and Reserve training and, whenever possible, include multiple
branches of the military.

Bosslifts provide employers the opportunity to share their insights on the challenges and benefits of
having employees who serve in the Reserve components. Bosslift participants are asked about their
concerns regarding their Reserve employees. Employers are encouraged to offer recommendations and
ideas for improving the employer/employee relationship with respect to the consequences of military
service. Lastly, employers are asked about their overall assessment of employer support programs and
services. In addition to open discussion, their completed questionnaires are compiled in a written
evaluation.

There are two types of Bosslifts, National ESGR Committee and State ESGR Committee sponsored.
The National ESGR Headquarters sponsors one Bosslift annually for each of the 55 ESGR
Committees. These include airlift of all participants on a military aircraft to a military training site in the
region. Individual ESGR Committees sponsor the other type of Bosslift. These may or may not



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include military airlift and tend to be of slightly shorter duration. An ESGR Committee may conduct
several airlifts in a year if their resources and support allow.

Participation for a single Bosslift is restricted to 40 people, to comply with airlift restrictions. A
maximum of 10 participants will be ESGR volunteer members. They act as hosts for the attending
employers. In addition to inviting local employers, ESGR Committees often include key business and
community leaders as well as members of the local media.

ESGR Bosslifts give employers a great opportunity to provide input to Department of Defense
leadership. They are an excellent way to demonstrate the critical role of the National Guard and
Reserve in our nation's defense.

                            BRIEFING WITH THE BOSS
Briefing with the Boss provides an informal forum in which local employers, unit commanders, ESGR
members, and community leaders meet to network and discuss issues that may arise from employee
participation in the National Guard and Reserve. Requiring only a few hours out of the business day,
Briefings with the Boss will reach employers who would otherwise be unable to participate in more
lengthy ESGR activities.

Briefings with the Boss seek to develop understanding of the adverse consequences related to
utilization of the Reserve components. Through education, understanding, discussion and cooperation,
many difficulties can be alleviated or eliminated.
.
of Support form is completed, it will be forwarded to the GA ESGR State Committee. The committee
will set up a date and time for the presentation of the award. The event usually consists of a committee
member(s), key personnel within the employers’ organization, and service member(s) who are part of
the employers’ organization.



            FIVE-STAR STATEMENT OF SUPPORT PROGRAM
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) has implemented a 5-Star Statement of Support
Program to provide employer recognition. Previously there was only one Statement of Support (SOS)
certificate available to employers. The 5-Star program was initiated to recognize employers who offer a
greater level of support to their guard and reserve employees than required by law. The new program
allows employers to receive certificates ranging from a 1-Star to a 5-Star, based on their level of
support.

To earn a 5-Star Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve, a company must:

       1.      Sign a 1-Star Statement of Support; and

       2.      Review their HR policies and determine if they are in compliance with the Uniformed
               Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA); ESGR will assist you
               by providing a sample employer policy if your policies are not in compliance; and



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       3.      Ensure managers are trained on USERRA; An ESGR Representative will provide the
               material and training at no expense if managers have not been trained; and

       4.      The company must have adopted an “Over and Above” policy (examples: pay
               differential, continued salary, family assistance while military member is deployed etc.,);
               and

       5.      Become an ESGR advocate (i.e., attend an ESGR event such as briefing with the boss,
               bosslift, or awards banquet)

The first step in obtaining a 5-Star Statement of Support is signing a 1-Star Statement of Support. You
can assist your employer in obtaining a 1-Star Statement of Support by encouraging him/her to log
onto the ESGR website at www.esgr.com and pledge their support. For more information, contact
Penelope Harbour, GA ESGR Program Support Specialist via email at
penelope.harbour@ga.ngb.army.mil or at 678-569-6037.




                     FUNDING FOR EMPLOYER EVENTS
Funds may be obtained for employer events from the ESGR State Committee or the National
Committee. To obtain approval for funds, contact the state ESGR office. All funds will be provided
on a reimbursement basis and must be approved two weeks prior to the event.

Approval of Funds:

      Obtain information about the event including date and location, type of event and purpose,
       number of attendees expected, and total amount of dollars needed.

      Provide this information in writing to the state ESGR office.




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                           MOBILIZATION FACTSHEET
                            FOR SERVICE MEMBERS
IMPORTANT: Communicate with your employer.

USERRA - Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
    Enclosed is a Question and Answer Sheet on the Uniformed Services Employment and
     Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

    Questions that have been important to those recently called to duty are covered in the
     USERRA Question and Answer Sheet and include the following:

              You are covered by USERRA even if you volunteer for duty.

              Your health insurance must be reinstated immediately when you return to work.

              You do not accrue vacation or sick leave while on military leave of absence unless your
               employer chooses to provide it.

              You have specific time limits to return to work based on the duration of your absence.

              You must be reinstated in the job you would have held or in a job of like seniority,
               status, and pay depending on the length of military service.

    You are protected by USERRA if you:

              Give your employer advance notice of your orders.

              Return to your employer in a timely manner.

              Receive an honorable discharge.

National ESGR WEBSITE:                 www.esgr.org

CONTACT INFO FOR EMPLOYER ISSUES:
    If you encounter problems with your employer:

          Talk to your unit ESGR Point of Contact and Commander.

          Seek assistance from an ESGR volunteer in your state.

          Call the GA NG ESGR office (678-569-6434 or 678-569-6455).

          Call the National ESGR Committee (800-336-4590).



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                        DEMOBILIZATION FACTSHEET
                          FOR SERVICE MEMBERS
IMPORTANT:
    Get in touch with your employer within the first week you are back.

    Let the employer know that you are planning on returning to work.

    Confirm in writing with the employer what date you will return to work.

    Complete the “Application for Reinstatement” form. (See ANNEX B for a copy of the
       APPLICATION FOR REINSTATMENT.)

USERRA:
    Provides that you have up to 90 days from the date you come off federal orders to report back
     to work if you served more than 181 days or 14 days to report back if you served between 31 to
     180 days. If you serve 30 days or less you should report back on your next scheduled work day
     following travel time and 8 hours of rest.

    You can return to work prior to the end of the 90 days. In fact, the law will permit you to
     return to work while on leave from the military.

    Your return to work date should be agreeable with you and the employer. It is important to
     maintain a good working relationship. This can be accomplished through having dialog with
     your employer.

TRICARE--INSURANCE:
    Service members mobilized under OPERATION IRAQ FREEDOM: TRICARE WILL
     STOP 180 DAYS AFTER YOU COME OFF FEDERAL ORDERS.

    Service members mobilized under other operations: TRICARE WILL STOP 60 DAYS
     AFTER YOU COME OFF FEDERAL ORDERS.

National ESGR WEBSITE: www.esgr.org.

CONTACT INFO FOR EMPLOYER ISSUES:
    If you encounter problems with your employer:

              Talk to your unit ESGR Point of Contact and Commander.

              Seek assistance from an ESGR volunteer in your state.

              Call the Georgia NG ESGR office (678-569-6434, 678-569-6455).

              Call the National ESGR Committee (800-336-4590).

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                                                 Annex A
                          GEORGIA NATIONAL GUARD
                          RECORD OF EMPLOYER DATA
                                       Personal Information:
 NAME: (Last, First, Middle Initial)                           RANK:

                                                               SOC SEC NO:

 Unit:                  Unit Phone Number: (        )                  Contact Number: (   )

                                       Employer Information:
 Unemployed ( ) Self Employed (            )   Retired ( ) Student (    )
 Occupation:
 Full Time ( ) Part Time ( )                                                  (   ) Government Worker
 Business Name:

 Contact Name:                                               ( ) Mr. ( ) Mrs. ( ) Ms. ( ) Other

 Title (Supervisor, Owner, CEO, etc):
 Mailing Address:

 City:                                             State:                Zip Code:
 County:                                           Employer E-mail Address:
 Employer Telephone Number: (            )

AUTHORITY: 10 USC 1475 to 1480 and 2771, 38 USC 1970, 44 USC 3101, and EO 9397,
November 1943 (SSN).

PURPOSE: To provide timely information to employers, families, and individuals in the event
of mobilization and emergency. Please fill out all areas completely.

DISCLOSURE: Mandatory -- information is required for alert notification purposes.


____________________________________________________                              _____________
                  SIGNATURE                                                            DATE


                         FORWARD COPY TO ESGR STATE OFFICE:
                               935 E. Confederate Ave SE
                                        Bldg. 21
                                 Atlanta, GA 30316-0965
                                    Fax 678-569-6262

GaNG Form 0015-A, Jun „04

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                                              Annex B
              Employee‟s Active Duty Return Notification Letter to Employer
                                     [Employee’s Home Address]

                                                 [Date]

[Employer’s Business Address]


RE: Application for Reinstatement – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act, Title
38, U.S. Code Section 4312

Dear Sir/Madam:

        On [date], I entered active duty with the [service]. On [date], I was honorably released from
active duty with the service.

       Please accept this letter as a formal request to be reinstated in my former job. With your
permission, I plan to report to work on [date]. Please call me at the number listed below if this date is
not convenient. Pursuant to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, Title
38, United States Code Sections 4301-33, I am entitled to be reinstated as soon as possible in my
former position.

         If you have any questions about the provisions of the Uniformed Services Employment and
Reemployment Rights Act, the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve,
toll-free telephone number 1-800-336-4590, will be happy to answer them.

Sincerely,

[Signature]

Original Received for Employer by:

_____________________________
   [Printed Name and Signature]




             *Send by Certified Mail, Return receipt requested!!


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