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ESGR in the News


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – U.S. Navy Capt. Jonathan Townsend assumes the duties of Executive Director of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) from U.S. Navy Capt. Robbie Underhill Feb 1.

In this role, Townsend leads the Department of Defense ESGR in its mission of facilitating and promoting a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service. ESGR operates through a network of more than 3,000 volunteers throughout 54 committees in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.

Townsend was commissioned in 1995 through the U.S. Naval Academy and most recently served as Executive Assistant to the Chief of Navy Reserve providing oversight, management, readiness, and training of over 90,000 Ready Reserve and 10,000 full time Sailors.

“It is truly a privilege to join the ESGR team,” said Townsend. “I hope that my experience across the Joint Forces will allow me to add value to the organization and its great history of mission support. I look forward to continuing the great work that Capt. Underhill has done.”

Underhill, also a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, has served since September 2019 as ESGR’s Executive Director and will retire later this year after more than 25 years of service.

“It has been my honor to serve our dedicated Guardsmen and Reservists and their employers in this capacity,” said Underhill. “ESGR’s success is made possible through the efforts of the Headquarters staff and over 3,000 amazing volunteers, and I’m just happy to have worked with them over the last three years.”

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 assists in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.

For more information about ESGR and its programs or volunteer opportunities visit


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