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ESGR in the News


BEMIDJI, Minn. – Army Reserve Pfc. Joshua St. Germaine presented the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to his employment supervisor, Fritz Mendiola. The award was given recently at the Northwestern Minnesota Juvenile Center in recognition of Mendiola’s support of his employee's service to the United States Army Reserve.

St. Germaine was very appreciative of Mendiola’s support and assistance with his Army Reserve deployments and wanted to honor Fritz Mendiola.

St. Germaine stated, “Mr. Fritz Mendiola has been great with providing support for me while I continue my service within the Army Reserves. While we have had initial disconnect in conversation due to frustrations with scheduling, Fritz has been able to overcome that and assist me in ensuring I can continue to serve and be fit for duty along with pursuing my civilian professional goals. I work for an organization that openly hires veterans and current military service members which means a lot to me and my co-workers.”

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, Mr. Fritz Mendiola 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 Doug Underthun 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 left to right: Supervisor Fritz Mendiola; and Doug Underthun, Minnesota ESGR Volunteer (Photo courtesy of Doug Underthun)

Posted in: Minnesota
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