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South Carolina

Committee Leadership

Ms. Jennifer Harding State Chair
VACANT Vice Chair
Ms. Angie Gibbs Area 1 Chair
Mr. Joe Smoak Area 2 Chair
Mr. Bill Boozer Area 4 Chair
Mr. Joey Byrd Area 5 Chair
Mr. John Nichols Area 6 Chair
Mr. Tommy Thompson Area 7 Chair
Ms. Judy Horton  Employer Outreach Director
Dr. Dan Cobb Ombudsman Director
Mr. Jim Rhodes Training Director
Ms. Beth Warren Awards Coordinator
Mr. Bryan Hilferty  Public Affairs Director


ESGR, a Department of Defense office, is comprised of dedicated and trained volunteers and staff. We will develop and promote employer support for Guard and Reserve service by advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of applicable laws, and resolving conflict between employers and Service members.

ESGR informs and educates Service members and their civilian employers regarding their rights and responsibilities governed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). ESGR does not have statutory authority to enforce, but serves as a neutral, free resource to employers and service members. ESGR’s trained ombudsmen provide mediation of issues relating to compliance with USERRA.

Contact Information

Angel Mack Volunteer Support Technician 1 National Guard Rd
Columbia SC 29201


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September 25, 20232024 Freedom Award Nomination Season Now Open

WASHINGTON ­– The 2024 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award nomination season opens soon, meaning Guard and Reserve servicemembers across the nation can submit their exceptional employers for national recognition beginning October 1 until December 31.

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September 07, 20232023 Freedom Award Recipients Honored

WASHINGTON ­– The Department of Defense honored the recipients of the 2023 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest U.S. government honor to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve, in a formal ceremony at the Pentagon Aug. 30.

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June 30, 2023Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the 50th Anniversary of America's All-Volunteer Force

WASHINGTON -Fifty years ago, the United States military began to fill its ranks solely with brave Americans who freely choose to defend our republic. Ever since the draft ended on July 1, 1973, Americans have joined our military out of conviction, not compulsion. Over the years, the members of our All-Volunteer Force have been motivated by patriotism, pride, and principle—by the desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and by their love for our exceptional nation.

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