MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense program, announced that Castle Windows Regional Manager Michael Lucas received a Patriot Awards in recognition of his extraordinary support of employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.
Castle Windows was nominated for the Patriot Awards by Staff Sgt. Jessica Milewski who is a member of the 198th Army Reserve Band. Milewski’s nomination stated, in part: “this was the first company I worked for that didn’t hassle me about my military service.”
James Astor, ESGR South Central Pennsylvania Area Chair presented the awards to Lucas and said, “the Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve.” Upon receiving the award, Lucas said that he “likes hiring service members due to their discipline.”
After accepting the Patriot Award, Lucas provide Astor with a signed Statement of Support (SOS). The SOS program is the cornerstone of ESGR’s effort to gain and maintain employer support for the Guard and Reserve. The intent of the program is to increase employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the Nation’s Guard and Reserve units. By signing a Statement of Support, the employers pledged that their organizations are highly supportive of the Pennsylvania National Guard and Reserves. Supportive business leaders and supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.”
Specific points of a Statement of Support pledges that an organization adopts the following beliefs:
We fully recognize, honor, and comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
We will provide our managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
We appreciate the values, leadership, and unique skills Service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists, and Veterans.
We will continually recognize and support our country’s Service members and their families, in peace, in crises, and in war.
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 www.ESGR.mil.