LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an office of the Department of Defense, announced that Clinton County Sheriff recently received a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. Pennsylvania ESGR is particularly proud to present employers with a Patriot Award for their strong support of their employees serving in our nation’s Reserve forces.
Clinton County Sheriff Kerry Stover was nominated for the Patriot Award by Sgt. Tyler Butler of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment stationed in Williamsport. In nominating Stover for the Patriot Award, Butler commented: “Sheriff Stover has been very supportive, and accommodating, with my schedule when I have to leave for drills, and annual training.”
Presenting the award on behalf of ESGR was William Burkhard, Pennsylvania North–Central Area Chair. Burkhard 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.” Burkhard 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.”
The award presentation was a complete surprise to Stover who was called to attend a ‘special meeting’ at the Clinton County Government offices. Meeting attendees included Commissioner Angela Harding, Vice Chairman Jeff Snyder, Chairman James Russo, Sherriff’s Officers, and Stover’s wife. Stover thanked Butler for nominating him for the Patriot Award said Butler was an outstanding officer; he also stated that his office is in the process of hiring another Guardsman to fill a vacant position and considers member of the Reserve forces as excellent candidates for job openings.
In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Burkhard obtained a Statements of Support from Stover and Clinton County Commissioner Chairman Russo. The Statement of Support confirms that the Sheriff’s Office and Commissioners join 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 Burkhard. “I am asking all North–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.”
Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and Commissioners join a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces. Burkhard added: “By signing the Statement of Support, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and Commissioners are 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 www.ESGR.mil/PA
Photo (L–R): Front: Sgt. Butler, Sheriff Stover; Back Row: Commissioners Harding, Snyder, and Russo