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ESGR in the News


BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced that Saint Luke’s University Hospital Network supervisor John Talijan recently received the Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.

Saint Luke’s University Hospital Network’s John Talijan was nominated for the Patriot Award by Petty Officer First Class Bryan Browne, a U.S. Navy Reservist stationed in the Bronx, NY.  Browne stated, “John is extremely supportive of the Armed Forces. He takes every opportunity to personally thank all his employees who have served. whether still serving or discharged. He hired me on despite my intentions to attend school and work toward returning to active duty. When informed that I was volunteering for ADSW (Advanced Duty for Special Work Support) orders his only concern was for my personal safety, and he continues to show his support and gratitude for my service.”

Joe Gentile, Pennsylvania East Central Area ESGR Chair, presented the Patriot Award to Talijan. In presenting the award, Gentile commented: “I know first-hand how critical it is to pay tribute to those companies and employers that hire and support our Guard and Reserve forces.”

In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Gentile obtained a Statement of Support from Talijan.  The Statement of Support confirms that the company 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 crisis and in war.

“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Gentile.  “I am asking all East Central Pennsylvania employers to take a look at their current human resources policies to incorporate policies supportive of Guard and Reserve employees.”  Many Pennsylvania employers provide support above and beyond their legal requirements by law by offering pay-differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military, when their employees mobilize.”

Saint Luke’s University Hospital Network joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces.  Burkhard added: “By signing the Statement of Support, Saint Luke’s sending a clear message to its employees that while they are serving their country, they do not have to worry about their civilian jobs.”

ESGR, a Department of Defense office, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective, and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. 

For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 1-800-336-4590 or visit

Posted in: Pennsylvania
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