HELENA, Mont. – Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve volunteer team wrapped up their boss lift season with a final event this past September in Helena. Employers from around the state attended. This year, over 490 employers attended the flights in Helena, Butte, Billings, Three Forks, Choteau, Kalispell, Great Falls, and Missoula. Flights will begin again in the spring and summer.
The CH-47 Chinook or UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flights are more than a "bucket list" item. An ESGR 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.
Employers attending were either current or future employers of Montana Guard or Reserve members. They received a briefing from Montana ESGR State Chair Brad Livingston on the ESGR history and the importance of employer support to maintain the Guard/Reserve units’ readiness.
Col. Renea Dorvall commander of the Montana Army National Guard gave a brief overview of the Army mission in Montana. Members of the Montana Army National Guard 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion (1-189th GSAB) provided flight crews and aircraft for the day's "Legacy Flight Tour". The tour from the air included the starting point at the Helena Airport; a bird's eye view of the Fort Harrison training grounds; out to the Sieben Training Area; back in along the Missouri River and over the Helena Valley.
Each attendee was presented with a personalized Statement of Support to sign and display at their place of work. The Statement of Support 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.
Photo: Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve final flights for the boss lift season in the state wrapped up in Helena, Montana with employers of current and future Guard and Reserve members attending the Chinook and Black Hawk flights.