Skip to main content

ESGR in the News


HORSHAM, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense program, announced that The Fulton Bank is a state finalist for the 2021 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award. 

The finalists include small, large private and public sector employers, nominated by a National Guard or Reserve employee in their organization. ESGR received 2,623 nominations for this prestigious award for employers throughout the 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and District of Columbia.

The Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the Department of Defense to employers for their exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve members. On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, ESGR runs the annual award program, which has presented the honor to only 295 employers since 1996.

The Department of Defense will announce the 15 employers selected to receive the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award by mid-June.

Pennsylvania Army National Guard Lt. Col. Brett Gagnon nominated the Fulton Bank for the Freedom Award for their outstanding support of his military career.  In his nomination, Gagnon stated in part: “…on my most recent deployment my supervisor and peers sent my family a card and gift cards thanking them for their sacrifices. My co-workers are always available to support my family while I am on military duty.  It makes me feel great that not only I am supported, but my family is supported which enables me to continue my military service in the Guard. … Fulton Bank provides a continuation of both pay and benefits.  Paid military leave and benefits that cover differential pay for up to six months a year. Benefits are also covered for these periods. If I need to miss work due to military duty, I simply notify my manager and the human resources department.  Upon return, I submit my leave and earnings statement, and the differential pay is calculated and included in my next paycheck. I've never experienced an issue and it is great knowing that I will not be losing money through my continued military service.”

The nomination of the Fulton Bank for the Freedom Award is highly endorsed by State ESGR Chair Marty Kuhar who stated: “Fulton Bank ensures everyone understand the USERRA law. All supervisors are trained annually, USERRA posters are at each work site, and it is in the new employee handbook and on the company intranet.  Fulton Bank has received an ESGR Seven Seals award and one of their first line supervisors received a Patriot Award this year. They have also attended one of our ESGR Boss Lift events and received a PA ESGR Certificate of Support for attending.  Fulton Bank cares about their military members!  They provided the nominator with cards, letters and care packages while he was on active duty this past year. They put little green soldiers around the workplace to remind everyone of his service, filmed that, and sent it to him!  Fulton Bank runs a Military Internship Program where all members of the Guard and Reserve and veterans are given six months of training in the financial services industry, mentorship, job coaching and then job placement. Fulton Bank realizes that military training and experience help make tremendous employees!  Fulton Bank organizes peers and supervisors to help care for the families of deployed members by sending them cards, letters and gift cards during periods of long deployments.  Fulton Bank runs the “Fulton Forward Initiative” to fulfill their corporate mission “We change lives for the better”. This Initiative provides financial literacy training to their military members and has been used as a partner by the local USO to train other members of the Guard and Reserve at various sites in Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. A great service to all who have attended these sessions!  Fulton Bank actively seeks to hire members of the Guard and Reserve, and currently have over 70 members in their employ.”

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  Information about the 2021 Freedom Award can be found at

Posted in: Pennsylvania
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |