AUSA Signs Guard and Reserve Support Statement
The Association of the U.S. Army has signed a statement of support for employment rights of National Guard and Reserve soldiers and in doing so challenged its chapters as well as corporate and sustaining members to also sign statements supporting reserve components.
Retired Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, AUSA president and CEO, signed the document on behalf of the association in a brief ceremony with Paul E. Mock, who heads the Defense Department’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program. The ceremony held was held in AUSA’s Conference and Event Center in Arlington, Va.
Mock, who has been national chair of the program since 2013, said ESGR is a mostly volunteer group that promotes cooperation and understanding between the reserve components and civilian employers. About 45,000 businesses and organizations sign statements of support each year.
AUSA last signed a statement in 2014. Ham said it was “time for us to refresh our support and we are very, very glad to do that.” The National Guard and Reserve are “absolutely essential” to the Total Army, he said.
The statement of support recognizes the reserve components “are essential to the strength of our nation and the well-being of our communities. In the highest American tradition, the patriotic men and women of the Guard and Reserve serve voluntarily and in an honorable and vital profession. They train to respond to their community and their country in time of need. They deserve the support of every segment of our society.”
The statement includes four pledges: Support and comply with federal employment and re-employment rights for Guard and Reserve members; provide AUSA managers and supervisors the tools to manage Guard and Reserve employees; appreciate the leadership and skills Guard and Reserve soldiers bring to the workforce by encouraging employment opportunities; and continually recognize and support service members and their families.
An AUSA volunteer, retired Army Col. Phil Stage, received ESGR’s Military Outreach Volunteer of the Year Award on Nov. 15 for his work counseling soldiers. Stage is AUSA’s Sixth Region president.