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First Lady's Chief of Staff Honored for Support of Reserves

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2006 – The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve has lauded first lady Laura Bush's chief of staff for outstanding support of military reservists.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Anita McBride (left), chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush poses with Bob Hollingsworth, executive director, National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, and Maria Miller, deputy director of policy in the Office of the First Lady and a Naval Reserve lieutenant, after receiving the Patriot Award April 19 for her employment and outstanding support of military reservists during a ceremony at the White House. McBride was nominated by Miller to receive the award, which recognizes employers for employment policies and practices supportive of their employees' participation in the National Guard and Reserve. Photo by Shealah Craighead

(Click photo for screen-resolution image)

ESGR, an agency of the Department of Defense, announced yesterday that Anita McBride, deputy assistant to the president and chief of staff to the first lady, was honored with an ESGR Patriot Award in recognition of her extraordinary support of a staff employee who serves in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Maria Miller, deputy director of projects in the Office of the First Lady, is a Naval Reservist who nominated McBride for the Patriot Award. "Anita McBride is a great supporter of the military and particularly my military career and commitments," Miller said.

"The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize American employers who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the Minutemen before them, have answered their nation's call to serve," Bob Hollingsworth, ESGR executive director, said. "Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's National Guard and reserve units."

"Anita McBride joins thousands of American employers who have reviewed and amended their current human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act," Hollingsworth said. "Many employers provide 'above and beyond' support with pay differential to offset the loss of wages and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military when their employees are mobilized."

Miller said McBride is supportive of her Navy duties. "It's often the little things that keep Reserve members motivated and engaged in our military careers," Miller said. "During my last annual training period, Anita specifically told my supervisor to 'make sure that Maria takes some vacation time this year, as her two weeks of Navy Reserve duty is not vacation.'

"Although the statement regarding vacation seems a simple and logical statement, many employers lack a true appreciation of the time and commitment a reserve member puts in beyond their civilian employment," Miller continued. "Anita McBride provides flexibility, support and the encouragement I need to maintain both my civilian and military careers. I appreciate her as a true patriot."

ESGR officials encourage all members of the National Guard and reserves to nominate their employers for the ESGR Patriot Award at www.esgr.mil.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation and, if necessary, mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.

(Based on an ESGR news release.)

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Related Sites:
National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

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