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ESGR in the News


MANKATO, Minn. – Petty Officer 1st Class Orin Johnson, United States Naval Reserve presented the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to his employment supervisor, Emilie Prange March 5 at the APX Construction Group, LLC in recognition of Emilie’s support of her employee's service to the Navy Reserve.

Orin is very appreciative of Emilie’s support and assistance with his Navy Reserve service and overseas deployments, and he wanted to honor Emilie.

“That within two months of starting his position with APX Construction Group, he was hit with short-fused orders for a one-week deployment to Washington, D.C. to support and train with his gaining unit," said Orin. “Emilie was not only supportive, but since the company didn’t have any written policy for military leave, she advocated for up to four weeks of paid military leave. The support she showed for him and to advocate for paid time off while he served his country was the epitome of what this award represents. Orin said he was lucky and honored to have Emilie as a supervisor and APX [Construction Group] as a company that is willing to support their military employees.”

An employee serving in the National Guard or Military Reserve, or the spouse of a National Guard or Military Reserve member, may nominate individual supervisors for the Patriot Award for support provided directly to the nominating service member and his or her 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, Emilie Prange 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.

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 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: Paul Ragatz, Emilie Prange, Petty Officer 1st Class Orin Johnson (Photo courtesy of Paul Ragatz)

Posted in: Minnesota
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