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ESGR in the News


NOWTHEN, Minn. – Army National Guard 1st Lt. Eric Jezierski presented the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award to Roger Zakrajshek, supervisor of his unit’s soldier, Sgt. Robert Hoeller July 14.

The award was given at the office of Erosion Works in recognition of Zakrajshek’s support of Hoeller’s service to the Minnesota National Guard. Both Jezierski and Hoeller were very appreciative of Zakrajshek’s support and assistance with Hoeller’s needs and his Guard deployments and wanted to honor him. Staff Sgt. Morgan Maidl also attended on behalf of the Minnesota National Guard. All persons present agreed that Roger had acted in a manner that was above and beyond what he was required to do for Hoeller.

“When one of my soldiers was facing a personal crisis, I knew that as a commander, I had resources available to help,” said Jezierski. “The challenge is that in the National Guard, I have to share my soldiers' time with their civilian employers. When Roger with Erosion Works heard that one of his employees was having personal struggles and was getting assistance through military channels, he stepped up big time. This soldier had an appointment with our behavior health team during his regular work hours and was having trouble with reliable transportation. While the unit had a plan to make sure that transportation would not be an issue, Roger ensured that this soldier not only received paid time off to receive the care he needed, but shared a company vehicle to make sure the soldier had reliable transportation.”

Jezierski went on to say, “In times when so many companies appear to be most concerned with the bottom line, Roger has shown up as a true leader and a valued civilian partner to our organization. I can't thank him enough for the support and leadership he has demonstrated.”

In addition to being presented a Patriot Award, Roger Zakrajshek signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support, confirming that his 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.

Also present was Robert W. Adams, 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 1 left to right: Staff Sgt. Morgan Maidl, Robert W. Adams ESGR, 1st Lt. Eric Jezierski, Roger Zakrajshek, Sgt. Robert Hoeller.
Photo 2: Roger Zakrajshek of Erosion Works signing ESGR Statement of Support.

Posted in: Minnesota
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