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ESGR in the News


TANNERSVILLE, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an office of the Department of Defense, announced Pocono Mountain Harley Davidson recently received a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.

The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.

Pennsylvania ESGR is particularly proud to present Pocono Mountain Harley Davidson with the Patriot Award for their strong support of their employees serving in our nation’s Reserve forces during ESGR’s 50th Anniversary year.

Pocono Mountain Harley Davidson Service Manager Brian Kotulka was nominated for the Patriot Award by Petty Officer 2nd Class Damian Crustred who is a Seabee serving in the U.S. Navy Reserves’ Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27.   Crustred served on active duty in Iraq where he performed work on construction projects in support of U.S. troops.

In nominating Kotulka, Custred said: “Brian Kotulka was highly supportive of me. He kept in constant contact while I was deployed to Iraq, checking in on me. He kept me filled in on events at work and general knowledge about the company and the new owners of the Harley shop.”

Presenting the award to Kotulka on behalf of ESGR was Roslyn Schroeder, Pennsylvania Employer Outreach Representative. Schroeder commented: “It’s critical and an honor to recognize and pay tribute to those employers that hire and support our Guard and Reserve forces. It would be difficult for those in the uniformed services to perform their mission without employer support.” Schroeder added: “Today’s members of the Guard and Reserves are highly trained and skilled; they bring integrity, a global perspective and, proven leadership to the civilian workforce.

Upon receiving the Patriot Award, Kotulka said: “I am honored for this award, but there are obviously other people that deserve awards more than myself.  The military is one of those entities that sometimes go unseen, and they do deserve a lot of credit and make it possible for us to live in this great Country.  I appreciate their service.”

Pocono Mountain Harley Davidson Marketing Manager Falon Knipe signed an ESGR Statement of Support confirming 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 crises and in war.

“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Schroeder. “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.”

Pocono Mountain Harley Davidson joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces. Schroeder added: “By signing the Statement of Support, Pocono Mountain Harley Davidson 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
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