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ESGR in the News


MANKATO, Minn. – Nathan Brand, a Staff Sergeant with 19 years of service, currently with Headquarters Battery, 1-151 Field Artillery, Montevideo, Minnesota Army National Guard, is presenting the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to his employment supervisor, Fire Captain William Bowser.

The award was given June 26 at the Department of Public Safety - Fire, Mankato, in recognition of Bowser’s support of Staff Sgt. Brand’s service to the Minnesota Army National Guard. Brand is very appreciative of Bowser’s support and assistance with his service and wanted to honor him.

Brand stated that Bowser, a former U.S. Army Ranger, not only allowed him to attend all required training and service schools, but always asked if there was anything he could do for Nathan’s family when he was at his drill weekends, summer camp and deployments. Bowser has made his ability to serve his state and country exceptionally manageable!

In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Bowser signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support, confirming that the Fire 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.

Also present was Paul Ragatz, an ESGR Ombudsman/Minnesota Committee member. 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 provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.

This year, ESGR celebrates 51 years of excellence in support of the Reserve Components and their civilian employers. For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

Photo left to right: Nathan Brand, Fire Capt. Bowser, and Paul Ragatz (Photo courtesy of Paul Ragatz)

Posted in: Minnesota
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