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ESGR in the News


MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Army National Guard 1st Lt. Joseph Danna presented the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to Police Commander Jonathon Kingsbury, of the Special Operations and Intelligence Division, Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Feb 15.

The Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department Brian O’Hara and Deputy Chief Kathy Waite were among MPD leaders who attended the presentation at the Minneapolis Emergency Operations and Training Facility. ESGR Minnesota Committee Member Christie Nixon participated in the award presentation.

Danna, currently executive officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment, has been a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard since 2019. Prior to his commissioning, Joe was an enlisted Intelligence Analyst for three years with the Wisconsin Army National Guard. Immediately after his hire by MPD for a civilian Criminal Intelligence Analyst job in May of 2020, he was mobilized for State Active Duty to respond to civil unrest in Minneapolis, delaying his job start by a few months. Eight months later, he was deployed to Kuwait and other locations for almost a year to lead a force providing base security for Operation Spartan Shield.

Recognizing the significant time that he has been required to spend away from the job early in his MPD career due to military duty, Danna wanted to recognize the support that his supervisor, Commander Kingsbury, and others have given him. Commander Kingsbury has gone beyond recognizing the value of the military skills that Joe brings to his civilian job and being flexible with schedule changes. He supports Danna’s pursuit of continued civilian education, ensures that he and other analysts receive outside training to improve their skills and be able to use the most current analytical tools, and encourages them to leverage their new skills and share ideas with MPD staff laterally and supervisors up the chain of command.

Danna asked that previous supervisors, Commander Scott Gerlicher and Police Lt. John Hoff, current Strategic Information Center shift leader Police Sgt. Adam Thorsten, and fellow civilian analyst Anna Eiben be recognized for their positive roles in enabling him to succeed and grow in both his military and civilian careers. During the presentation, Chief O’Hara signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support, confirming that the Minneapolis 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.

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 outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit .

Photos courtesy of Adam Kennedy, Media Relations Manager, Minneapolis Police Department
Photo: Deputy Chief Kathy Waite, Chief of Police Brian O’Hara, ESGR Volunteer Christie Nixon, Commander Jonathon Kingsbury, 1st Lt. Joe Danna, and Police Sgt. Adam Thorsten.

Photo 2: Minneapolis Chief of Police Brian O’Hara signs ESGR Statement of Support

Posted in: Minnesota
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