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ESGR in the News


HORSHAM, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) State Chair Wes Craig and the entire committee congratulate Fred Fair of New Castle for being selected to receive the prestigious James M. Roche Spirit of Volunteerism Award. This is the highest award given by ESGR.

The recent announcement naming Fair as award recipient came from National ESGR Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.  The award will be presented at a later time.

The Roche award is named for James M. Roche, who served several years as the ESGR National Chair after retiring as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board at General Motors Corporation.  A past quote attributed Roche reads, as follows: "Anybody who achieves a top position in an organization owes a debt of some kind.  If you have a talent and you have your health, you should help others."

Craig nominated Fair for the award for having served ESGR for over his 32-year contribution to the state committee, service members, community and employers.  His service to ESGR embodies the spirit patriotism and service.  Since joining the Pennsylvania committee in 1998, Fred has the distinguished honor of being the longest continuing serving committee member and one who has served in numerous positions: 1) 17 years as the Northwest Area Chair, 2) 14 years as an active Ombudsman, 3) 13 years as the Military Outreach Chair; and, 4) 11 years as the Pennsylvania Vice Chair.  What is noteworthy is that his service in the various duty positions overlapped and his accumulated service time includes an astonishing 361 volunteer hours of employer outreach; 218 hours of military outreach; 414 hours of training and many hours as an ombudsman over the last four years.

Fair served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve for over thirty years, retiring as the Command Sgt. Maj. for the 99th Army Reserve Command.  He fully understood the challenges of being a Citizen Soldier and put his experiences to good use as he worked to support our service members on the Guard and Reserve.  He served for many years as an Army Reserve Ambassador and used that platform to increase awareness of ESGR and our mission.  In his civilian career, Fred worked as a plant foreman in the steel fabrication industry for all these years while still serving as a soldier and then an ESGR volunteer.

In nominating Fair, Craig said: “Fred Fair is an exemplary ESGR volunteer and fully exemplifies the tenets of the James Roche award. He is truly deserving of this high honor.  It is an honor to serve with him and I am pleased to recommend him for this award.”  Craig will present the award during the state committee’s annual conference in August.

ESGR, a Department of Defense program, 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

Posted in: Pennsylvania
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