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ESGR in the News


FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – Master Sgt. Kyle Westergard United States Army Reserve, presented the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to his employment supervisor, Kurt Mortenson. The award was given recently at the Otter Tail County in recognition of Mortenson’s support of his employee's service to the Unites States Army Reserve.

Master Sergeant Westergard was very appreciative of Mr. Mortenson’s support and assistance with his Army Reserve deployments and wanted to honor Kurt Mortenson.

Westergard stated, “Mr. Mortenson has given me unwavering support throughout my 35 years of Annual Training, multiple deployments, monthly Battle Assemblies, and what seems like daily interaction with the Army Reserve. During many overseas deployments he ensured care packages and letters were sent to show their understanding the challenges military members undergo while deployed. I have always had the best care and support an employee could ask for. Mr. Mortenson has highlighted the value that Guard and Reserve bring to the Otter Tail County, appreciating our unique skills and leadership. That our dedication and leadership enhance their organization in countless ways. He accommodates us through flexible schedules, providing time off for deployment, and granting leaves of absence as needed. Their commitment to providing a flexible and supportive work environment is commendable. He reaffirms its commitment to supporting military personnel and fostering an inclusive workplace environment and he encourages Guard and Reserve members to consider career opportunities within the organization.”

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 Servicemember 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 receiving a Patriot Award, Kurt Mortenson 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 Ron Lindgren an ESGR 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 over 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 Back left to Front right: Commissioner Lahman, Commissioner Kurt Mortenson, Commissioner Bucholz, Master Sergeant Kyle Westergard, Commissioner Rogness, and ESGR Assistant Chair Ron Lingren (Photo courtesy of Shannon Terry Public Relations Officer)



Posted in: Minnesota
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