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ESGR in the News


BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, announced today Michelle Knott, Chief of Police received the ESGR Above and Beyond Award in recognition of the extraordinary support of the department’s employees who serve in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.

Bethlehem PD was nominated for the award by Wes Craig while he was the Pennsylvania ESGR State Chair in recognition of the department having been a 2020 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award nominee by Pennsylvania Army National Guard Staff Sgt. James Apgar. The award was presented at a virtual ceremony.

The ESGR Above and Beyond Award was created to publicly recognize U.S. employers providing extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nation’s call to serve.  Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.

“National Guard and Reserve members bring tremendous skills and capabilities to our workforce, and employer support for their military service is critical to maintaining the strength of our Guard and Reserve units,” said Craig. “By valuing the military service of their Guard and Reserve employees, employers are directly supporting the readiness and retention of our All-Volunteer Force, and our national defense.”

The Bethlehem Police Department joins thousands of American employers who have reviewed and amended their current human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Many employers provide support far beyond what USERRA requires, including pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits to complement coverage provided by the military when their employees mobilized.

Capt. Ben Hackett of the department stated in part: “On behalf of Chief Michelle Kott and the entire City of Bethlehem Police Department we want to thank you for the letter and framed Above and Beyond Award.  We will display it proudly.”

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 1-800-336-4590 or visit


Posted in: Pennsylvania
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