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South Dakota

Committee Leadership

Mr. James White State Chair
Mr. Ron Mielke Chair Emeritus
Mr. Ron Mielke Lewis and Clark Area Chair
Mr. Randy Rakness Glacial Lakes Area Chair
Mr. Mike Birnbaum Black Hills Area Chair
Mr. Ralph Borkowski Ombudsman Director
Ms. Laurie Fluit Bosslift Director
Ms. Stef Garland / Mr.Troy Falardeau Public Affairs Co-Directors
Mr. Steve Hauck Employer Outreach Director
Vacant Military Outreach Director
Ms. Lona Christensen Training Director
Ms. Mary De Leeuw Awards Director
Ms. Kathleen Schuh Volunteer Coordinator

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

Priscilla Harkin Volunteer Support Technician 801 W. National Guard Drive
Sioux Falls SD 57104
605-357-2983
priscilla.h.harkin.ctr@mail.mil

CPT Chad Carlson Program Director 2823 West Main Street
Rapid City SD 57702
605-737-6540
chad.j.carlson.mil@mail.mil

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News

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September 30, 2021Freedom Award Nomination Season Now Open

WASHINGTON – Do you have a story to tell about how exceptional your employer’s support is to Guard and Reserve service members?  If your employer goes above and beyond in their support for Guardsmen or Reservists, nominate them for the 2022 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award!

Learn More.
July 29, 2021Yankton School District named 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Recipient

WASHINGTON ­– Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III named Yankton School District one of the 15 recipients of the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, in recognition of the organization’s exemplary support for its National Guard and Reserve employees.   

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July 20, 2021DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF THE 2021 SECRETARY OF DEFENSE EMPLOYER SUPPORT FREEDOM AWARD

Fifteen Exceptional Employers Recognized for Top Honor

WASHINGTON ­– The Department of Defense is pleased to announce the 15 recipients of the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest U.S. government honor to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

Learn More.