GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Employers of Montana Air National Guard (MANG) members had a rare opportunity on September 11th to take a flight in a MANG C-130. The early morning hour saw 40 plus employers from Montana, Washington and Minnesota gathered for an informational briefing about Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and the Montana Air National Guard 120th Airlift Wing mission.
Two flights took off into the morning skies for a flight south to the Holter Lake area. Participants had limited views during the flight as the usual visits to the cockpit were curtailed due to COVID-19. Despite the smoke from current forest fires, employers were appreciative of the skills of the aircrew and the opportunity to experience the flight.
Following the flights, employers received a Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) that airmen might experience as a meal during a deployment. Guard members invited their civilian employers for the flights with employers paying their own travel expenses.
A boss lift gives employers an opportunity to see citizen soldiers on the job when they are away from their civilian occupations. A boss lift is often “the ride of a lifetime.” Employer events can range from a demonstration of Abrams Tank firepower to video simulated firefights or military aircraft flights to various cities in a state.
Showcasing the Montana Air National Guard to these employers opens the door for conversation on the Uniformed Service Employment Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). USERRA is intended to ensure that persons who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard or other uniformed services: (1) are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service; (2) are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from duty; and (3) are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service. The law is intended to encourage uniformed service so the United States can enjoy the protection of those services, staffed by qualified people, while maintaining a balance with the needs of private and public employers who also depend on these same individuals.
ESGR, a Department of Defense program, was established in 1972 to: recognize supportive employers of the Reserve Component, inform service members and employers about the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA), and provide conflict mediation services.
For more information on ESGR visit ESGR.mil.
Photo: Flight #1 of civilian employers prior to the MT Air National Guard C130 bosslift on 11 September 2021.
Flight #2 photo of civilian employers before their C130 flight with the MT Air National Guard.