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South Carolina

Committee Leadership

Ms. Jennifer Harding State Chair
VACANT Vice Chair
Ms. Angie Gibbs Area 1 Chair
Mr. Bob Kuenzli 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
Mr. Steve Wichmann Area 8 Chair
VACANT Employer Outreach Director
Mr. John Finan Employment Initiative Director
Dr. Dan Cobb Ombudsman Director
Mr. Jim Rhodes Training Director
Mr. Steve Wichmann Awards Coordinator
Ms. Caroline Watson 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

Derek Shumpert Volunteer Support Technician 1 National Guard Rd
Columbia SC 29201

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April 21, 2021ESGR Recognizes 2020 Volunteers of the Year

ALEXANDRIA, Va. –­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve announces the 2020 Volunteers of the Year (VOTY). Volunteers who serve in following functional and operational areas were nominated by their respective State Committee for the prestigious honor of being named Volunteer of the Year: Military Outreach, Employer Outreach, Public Affairs, Training, Ombudsman, and Operations.

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March 28, 2021Department of Defense Announces 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award FInalists

WASHINGTON – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) proudly announces the 30 finalists for the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The finalists include small and large private and public sector employers nominated by a National Guard or Reserve Component employee employed in their organization. ESGR received 3,382 nominations for this prestigious award for employers throughout the 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and District of Columbia. 

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March 02, 2021ESGR Announces 2021 Employer Support Freedom Award Semifinalists

WASHINGTON – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) program, has identified 140 employers as semifinalists for the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, commonly referred to as the Freedom Award. 

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