ROGERS, Minn. – Petty Officer 1st Class Sydney M. Higgins U. S. Navy Reserve, is presenting the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to her employment supervisor, Rogers Police Chief Daniel M. Wills.
The award was given on Jan. 19 at the Rogers Police Department in recognition of Chief Wills support of his employee's service to the U. S. Navy. Higgins was very appreciative of Chief Wills support and assistance with her Navy deployments and wanted to honor him.
“I wanted to reiterate how much I appreciate all of the support from the City of Rogers including but not limited to the City Council, Police Chief, and my partners,” said Higgins. “I wish I could have nominated everyone because it took a lot more than just the Chief to fill in for me.”
Higgins went on to say, “My absence has caused a lot of my partners to work extra shifts and change their schedules. Even though I'm gone for a long period of time, everyone has made an effort to reach out and I'm extremely thankful for that. Everyone has been and continues to be very supportive and I appreciate all of their efforts. The support has made things a lot easier, and I can't wait to come back and continue doing the job I love!”
Chief Wills stated, “Police Officer Sydney Higgins, who is also a 1st Class Petty Officer with the United States Navy, has been on active-duty orders for the past several months, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. She has greatly appreciated the support that our City Council and staff have given her while deployed and nominated us for this prestigious award. To put it in perspective, only 198 employers in Minnesota receive this award annually, with 17,667 Guard/Reserve military personnel in our state. Our police department is comprised of over 20% military veterans, and we are proud of that! Our City has and will continue to support our military staff while they protect and defend our country. Thank you to the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, the United States Navy, and Officer Higgins for this honor!”
In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Chief Wills signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support, confirming that the Rogers Police Department joins other employers in pledging:
We fully recognize, honor, and comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA).
We will provide our managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.
We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families, in peace, in crises and in war.
Also present was Chief Petty Officer Daniel Solon of the Navy Information Force, Higgins Naval supervisor, and Bob Adams an ESGR Ombudsman/Minnesota Committee member.
ESGR is a Department of Defense office that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the National Guard and Reserve through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. ESGR also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers. This year, ESGR celebrates 51 years of excellence in support of the Reserve Components and their civilian employers.
For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.
Group Photo left to right: Chief Petty Officer Daniel Solon, Petty Officer 1st Class Sydney Higgins, Chief Daniel Wills, and Bob Adams ESGR (Photo courtesy of Lisa Carlson).
Statement of Support Photo: Chief Daniel Wills signing the Statement of Support