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ESGR in the News


HANOVER, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, announced that a University of Pittsburg Medical Center (UPMC) supervisor recently received a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.  

UPMC’s, Physician’s Assistant Darius Whitaker was nominated for the Patriot Award by Capt. George Donavos of the 459th AES (Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron), U.S. Air Force Reserve unit stationed in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Donavos’ nomination of Whitaker stated: “Darius has been an amazing supervisor.  He has continued to support me as an AE Flight Nurse through our critical times of my training.  He has gone above and beyond assisting me to make sure the mission is completed.  I highly recommend him (for the Patriot Award) for his time, effort, and care in assisting me to perform my duties.”  

James Astor, Pennsylvania Area ESGR South Central Area Chair, presented the Patriot Award to Whitaker.  In presenting the award, Astor commented: “It’s critical and an honor to recognize and pay tribute to those employers that hire and support our Guard and Reserve forces.  It would be difficult for those in the uniformed services to perform their mission without employer support.”  

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

Posted in: Pennsylvania
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