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ESGR in the News


FARGO, N.D. – Fargo Fire Department Fire Chief Steve Dirksen, received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award June 21 for the extraordinary support he provides his employee Capt. Nicholas (Nick) Kindelspire who serves with the 1-188th Air Defense Artillery, North Dakota Army National Guard.

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.  Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.

“This award says Steve Dirksen, but everyone here shares the responsibility and at the end of the day it is a team effort,” said Dirksen.  Dirksen shared that Nick applied for a position at the Fargo Fire Department and when offered the job, he was unable to start on the designated date because he would be at basic training for the military on that day.  “Nick has been with the Fire Department since he joined the military and the job was here when he returned from training.  It has been a learning experience for us, we are happy to support him and try to make it the best for him that we can,” said Dirksen.

“Being part of these award presentations are always special, but when it is someone in the community that you know and you know the leader they are, it makes this recognition even more special,” said State Chair Delton Steele.  “The service member knows the support is there during their military obligations and they know the support will be there when they get back home,” Steele adds.

The Fargo Fire Department joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of American’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces, added State vice Chair, Dave Johnston.  “By signing the Statement of Support, The Fargo Fire Department is sending a clear message to its employees that while they are serving their country, they do not have to worry about their civilian jobs.”

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 (701) 333-2057 or visit

Pictured: Fire Chief Steve Dirksen (center) with Fargo Fire Department staff and ESGR volunteers.

Posted in: North Dakota
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