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ESGR in the News


ELK RIVER, Minn. – Army National Guard Spc. Joshua Cox presented the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to his employment supervisor, Derek Chicos. The award was given on Dec. 6 at the C5 Stone Company, a branch of Plaisted Companies, in recognition of Derek’s support of his employee's service to the Minnesota Army National Guard.

Joshua was very appreciative of Derek’s support and assistance with his service and Guard deployments and wanted to honor Derek. An employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve, or the spouse of a National Guard or Reserve member, may nominate individual supervisors for the Patriot Award for support provided directly to the nominating service member and/or their family. 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.

In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Jack Holler (Compliance Officer) signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve 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.

Jack is also interested in joining ESGR Minnesota upon his retirement in June. Thank you to Derek and Jack for their support of Joshua and support of ESGR.

Also present were Minnesota ESGR Committee members Bob Boone and John Briegel. Bob spoke about ESGR and USERRA and John presented the award on behalf of ESGR.

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: John Briegel, Derek Chicos and Spc. Joshua Cox Photo courtesy of Bob Boone.

Posted in: Minnesota
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