Skip to main content

ESGR in the News


ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced that Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. recently received the Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.’s Supervisor Joe Voda and General Manager John Palamara were nominated for the Patriot Award by Maj. Ross Strebig of the 201st Red Horse Squadron, Det. 1, Horsham, Pennsylvania.  Strebig said, in part: “My Supervisor, Joe Voda, and our group’s General Manager, John Palamara are always extremely supportive of my military service. Both have enabled and encouraged me to undertake military opportunities without hesitation: monthly scheduled drills, additional special capability training, professional military education, additional days supporting unit operations, and longer-term unit activations. … The support and encouragement I have received has been outstanding. I could not perform my military duties in the Air National Guard without the commitment I've received.”

Joe Gentile, Pennsylvania East Central Area ESGR Chair, presented the Patriot Awards to Voda and Palamara. 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 Voda and Palamara.  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.”

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces.  Gentile added: “By signing the Statement of Support, the company is 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
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |