HORSHAM, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense program, bids farewell to its Chair, Wes Craig, later this month.
Craig served two three-year terms as chair from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2011 and October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2020. Upon completion of his service as the state’s Chair he will retain the title of Chair Emeritus.
In between his tours as state chair Craig served as the Adjutant General of the Pennsylvania National Guard from February 2011 until January 2015.
Under Craig’s superb leadership of the Pennsylvania ESGR Committee his personal commitment to educate employers resulted in 6,610 employers influenced through the Pennsylvania ESGR employer outreach program. The employer outreach effort resulted in his committee awarding 250 Statements of Support, 2,322 Patriot Awards, 197 Seven Seals awards, 33 Above and Beyond awards, 7 Pro Patria awards, 5 Extraordinary Employer Support award and 2 Freedom Awards.
In addition to an extremely successful employer awards program, Craig solidified the relationship among employers, service members and ESGR through an active and effective Boss Lift program that partnered ESGR with the Pennsylvania National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap. Annually, thirty employers had an opportunity to tour the post to meet Guard members in training situations; they wore military gear, trained in simulators, and experienced the operations of Army equipment. The events culminated in the employers meeting with service members, the ESGR team and an address by the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania.
“Major General (retired) Wesley Craig has provided a lifetime of dedicated service in and out of uniform to our Guardsmen, our families, and our employers in multiple senior leader roles,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, the Adjutant General Pennsylvania National Guard. "We greatly appreciate his recent service leading Pennsylvania’s ESGR program to new heights greatly assisting our Guardsmen as they manage the large demands balancing their civilian careers with their military service.”
Craig’s versatility and leadership style in various roles over the years encouraged his state’s leadership to excel independently and develop its area committees to meet the needs of its Service members and communities. His knowledge of the volunteer base was instrumental in filling vacant positions within the Pennsylvania Committee.
Craig has added 19 new volunteers to the Pennsylvania ESGR active roster. Pennsylvania has four Regional Volunteer of the Year Awards winners for 2020 one of which is the Public Affairs Director, William Burkhard. The Pennsylvania committee now has a very active public affairs program spreading ESGR’s word and making sure employers are recognized for their support to the Reserve Components. Pennsylvania has also received word that we have our first Roche Awardee. Craig has been extremely active to make sure the Pennsylvania ESGR volunteers know their work is valuable by using the ESGR Awards System: in 2019 alone he presented six Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Awards and four Volunteer of the Year Awards.
Craig’s leadership philosophy and style enables area leaders to develop their own styles of leadership and encourages conversations and actions that benefit the Pennsylvania ESGR programs.
ESGR is a Department of Defense program 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.
More information about ESGR employer outreach programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil/PA, or by calling Theresa Arentzen of the Pennsylvania State ESGR Committee at (215) 323-7435.