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ESGR in the News


SPOKANE, Wash. – Over the past decade, those serving in the Reserve Components have not only been increasingly relied on to meet ongoing operational requirements abroad, but also ongoing operational requirements domestically such as the efforts as combating the pandemic crisis.  When those serving are called to support both foreign and domestic operations, being able to concentrate on their mission is possible when they do not have to worry about their civilian employment.


“My direct employer has always been supportive of my service by being very accommodating in giving me the time off when needed for any upcoming training and long terms deployments,” said Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Derek Dobell, an eastern region workstation support technician at the Washington State Department of Transportation.  “Upcoming is my second year deployment and they once again as always very supportive and helpful in insuring I am taken care of and that my job is secure and waiting upon my return.”


In recognition of his supervisor’s extraordinary support for his service, Dobell nominated his supervisor, Eastern Region IT Manager Brandon Traynham, for the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award.  


“The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Washington Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Committee East Area Chair Ty Corbett. “Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.”


Traynham’s support allowed Dobell not only to focus on his mission once he arrived at his deployment, but also gave him the opportunity to prepare for those missions, which is often a stressful period for those being deployed and their families.  “Most important is they [WSDOT] afford me the time and have always been accommodating for those last minute missions, this alone has taken a great amount of stress off me trying to balance my civilian obligations with my military obligations,” said Dobell.


“We’re grateful to have Derek on our team and honored to be nominated by him and to receive it,” said Traynham. “As Derek’s direct supervisor, this award is also Rob Brewer’s as he really deserves most of the recognition.”


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.

For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

Photo Caption: WSDOT Eastern Region IT Manager Brandon Traynham (right) was presented with an ESGR Patriot Award after being nominated by Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Derek Dobell, an eastern region workstation support technician at WSDOT.  Also present is WSDOT Eastern Region Workstation Administrator Rob Brewer (left) who is Dobell’s immediate supervisor.

Posted in: Washington
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