CHOTEAU, Mont. – Balancing work and military service brings many challenges. For 50 years of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) has helped both employers and Guard & Reserve employees meet those challenges.
As part of an education arm to Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, employers from Helena, Great Falls and the Choteau area were invited to attend a helicopter flight or boss lift. A boss lift familiarizes employers and community leaders with the vital role the Guard and Reserve plays in preserving national security. It acquaints employers with how the Guard and Reserve train in response to their community and their country in a time of need.
The flights enable Montana ESGR to educate employers about the Uniformed Service Employment Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). This federal law protects the job rights of those who leave a civilian job to perform military service. ESGR is a resource for Montana employers who have questions about hiring or working with a current Reserve Component member.
The Montana Army National Guard 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion (1-189th GSAB) with a CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk flew employers from Helena to Great Falls for a refuel and then onto Choteau for a local boss lift in the area.
Flights took place locally along the Rocky Mountain Front where the northern Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains in a dramatic convergence of cliffs and rolling grassy hills.
STARadio General Manager Jim Senst who flew the long leg of the flights from Great Falls to Choteau commented,” I can’t say enough about the crews, we had two female pilots and they were excellent. It was a thrill of a lifetime!”
Employers on the Great Falls leg of the flight included Benefis Health System, Great Falls Builders Exchange, STARadio, Great Falls Realtors, Broadwater Brewing Company, and the Great Falls Clinic.
Initial passengers flew from Helena to Great Falls and included Boeing of Helena employers. For the local flights employers from Choteau, Fairfield and the surrounding area participated in out and back flights from the Choteau Airport.
Montana ESGR volunteers accompanied the flights. As a side note, Montana ESGR had never hosted a bosslift in Choteau so it was fitting that the Choteau Mayor Chris Hindoien is also a Montana ESGR Volunteer. A two for one event!
Photo: A stunning bird’s eye view of the Rocky Mountain Front where the mountains meet the plains just outside of Choteau Montana. Photo taken from a Black Hawk helicopter by Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Boss Lift Coordinator Mike Flaherty. The flight was part of an educational outreach to local employers in the Choteau area.