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ESGR in the News


BEMIDJI, Minn. – Army National Guard Capt. Jacob Moore presented the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to his employment supervisor, Erik Hokuf. The award was given recently at AirCorps Aviation in recognition of Hokuf’s support of his employee's service to the Minnesota National Guard.

Moore was very appreciative of Erik Hokuf’s support and assistance with his Army National Guard deployments and wanted to honor him.

Moore stated, “Mr. Erik Hokuf has always been extremely supportive of my military service and reason for my second Patriot Award nomination to a great employer. For the past 2 years I was the Commander of my unit, which was extremely demanding of my time. Erik was flexible with my working hours to accommodate the needs of my military position. This allowed me to focus on my military duties and still maintain my family as my highest priority. During this time, we had some medical events as a family that put extra stress on me. Due to his unwavering support of my service, I was able to navigate the struggles without the added stress or fear of my job performance. He has truly been a blessing to have in my corner for the past few years!”

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, Erik Hokuf 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 Erik Hokuf, and Doug Underthun, Minnesota ESGR Volunteer (Photo courtesy of Doug Underthun)

Posted in: Minnesota
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