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ESGR in the News


HONOLULU – Hawaii Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, virtually presented Hugh Duncan, president of Young’s Market Company of Hawaii, with the ESGR Above and Beyond Award in recognition of the extraordinary support of their employees who serve in the Hawaii National Guard and Reserve.

“The flexibility given was more than traditional Guardsmen require with one weekend a month,” said Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Okubo. “My unit is year round annual training (YRAT) which meant 48 unit training activities (UTAs) a year on Monday nights and sporadic annual training (AT) days falling on random days, while other years we went on off island deployments for our AT. We’d often get called for pop up jobs that happened in the middle of the week if the governor or adjutant general (TAG) needed us there on short notice.”

Okubo went on to say, “The 111th Army Band schedule is sporadic unlike other units where the calendar is set a year ahead of time. Over my 9 years here I’ve had 3 executive VPs and 2 general sales managers who I reported to, all of which were supportive and made it easy to make my commitments. More specifically my direct supervisor Tim Garrard who has received the Patriot Award in the past has been my manager for 5 years. He gave me the flexibility of being able to shift my schedule to work weekends or nights to accommodate the guard schedule.”

Additional attendees were Tim Garrard, estates group sales manager; Philana Bouvier Trauger, former Young’s Market Company president; Darise Marino, human resources partner; Chief Warrant Officer 4 Curtis Hiyane, Okubo’s military commander; Ann Greenlee, ESGR Hawaii vice chair and employer outreach director.

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. 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.

Young’s Market Company of Hawaii 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.

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: Hawaii
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