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ESGR in the News


JOINT-BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. – A U.S. embassy in a region in crisis.  Embassy staff are in need of evacuation. A C-17 piloted and crewed by Air Force Reserve Airmen of the 446th Airlift Wing, flies in, lands, and with engine running, picks up 39 embassy staff and takes off.

While this sounds like headlines taken from the front page, this was a training scenario that 39 supportive employers participated in as part of an Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Bosslift/446th AW Employer Appreciation Day.

“The purpose of an ESGR Bosslift is to let employers see firsthand what their Citizen-Soldiers do when called to serve their Nation,” said Ohad Lowy, ESGR south sound area co-chair.  “It’s a way of opening their eyes to what their employee is doing when they’re gone.”

The employers were taken to the Joint-Base Lewis Mcchord (JBLM) Passenger Terminal where they were greeted by 446th AW Wing Commander Col. Scott Meyer.  In addition to briefing the employers on the mission of the 446th AW, Meyer thanked the employers for supporting his Airmen in accomplishing their military duties, because without the employers’ support it would not happen. 

The employers also received a briefing regarding the day’s flight from one of the pilots as well as an ESGR briefing where the employers learned about ESGR, the work its volunteers do, and USERRA requirements.  After the briefings, the employers watched as their C-17 that would serve as their ride landed and they were ushered on board as the C-17 performed an engine running onload.

Once on board and in the air, the employers enjoyed great views, toured the cockpit, and had an opportunity to ask the crew members about their work and learn more about the C-17. Seeing first-hand what their employees do when deployed, provided important reminder to their employers about the hard work and dedication their employees have in serving their country. “As a company whose half of our work force are National Guard and Reserve members, while ATS can feel the impact of deployments, our employees are serving this County, and by supporting our employees we are assisting them in serving this Country,” said Andrew McKellips CEO and founder of Adaptive Threat Solutions, whose operations manager, Huy Nguyen, serves with the 446th AW.  “Everyone helps each other by covering for those who are deployed.”

Most importantly, the Bosslift connected employers with their employees by stepping into their shoes. Jeffrey Williams, material logistics manager at Lockheed Martin Space, was invited to the Bosslift by Staff Sgt, Leah Bitterman, a nurse with the 446th AW and a property administrator with Lockheed Martin Space. “I learned today what Leah does when she is deployed,” said Williams.  “We hired her when she was deployed and impressed us over the phone and has continued to impress us since coming onboard.  “I take time off work to keep current, and it was great for him to see what I do,” said Bitterman.  “Williams is also prior Navy, so it was fun to show him the Air Force side, and to introduce him to my commanders.”

Upon landing, the employers were taken to Heritage Park, where they were presented with certificates, and had an opportunity to tour the static displays of the C-141 and C-130.  Additionally, Jill Pylick, director of the 446th Airman and Family Readiness, was presented with the ESGR Seven Seals Award for her years of supporting the ESGR mission.  Several supportive employers were also recognized by their employees who serve with the 446th AW with ESGR Patriot Awards. Supervisors from the following companies were recognized with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Awards.

  • Bank of America
  • Highspot
  • Lewis County PUD
  • Washington State Patrol
  • Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC)

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. For more information go to

Posted in: Washington
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