District of Columbia Employers Honored for Troop Support
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 23, 2005 The D.C. Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve honored several federal agencies at the D.C. National Guard Armory here Sept. 22.
Howard Oglesby signs an Employer Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve at the D.C. Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve annual awards at the D.C. National Guard Armory. Oglesby is with the IRS small business and self-employed division and accepted an "Above and Beyond Award" on behalf of recipient Kevin Brown, who couldn't attend. Photo by Samantha L. Quigley
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"Even after Sept. 11 and the terrorist attacks, we knew that our men and women were here to protect us," Linda Cropp, chairman of the D.C. City Council, said. She noted that 7,946 of the roughly 500,000 D.C. citizens are members of the Guard and Reserve and 664 members of the D.C. Guard are currently deployed.
"Today, we publicly recognize you, the civilian employers who go above and beyond in support of the District's members of the Guard and Reserve," she said.
Thirteen individuals from 10 agencies and organizations were awarded the ESGR "Above and Beyond Award." The winners represent divisions of the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the State Department, the Nuclear Energy Institute, and the Service Benefit Plan Administration Services.
Employees nominated the award recipients for supportive gestures that went beyond what federal laws require. Providing pay differentials or continuing health benefits while an employee is fulfilling military obligations are only a couple of the ways the employers surpassed requirements. Some employers maintain contact with the employee and their family, and some go so far as to provide a means for employees to stay connected with family.
"They care about them," Angie Moore, D.C. ESGR committee executive director, said.
A private company, Carr Astronautics Corporation, won the ESGR's top state award. James Carr accepted the "Pro-Patria Award." Pro patria is Latin, meaning "for the nation." Carr received the award for his and his company's extraordinary support for Guard and Reserve employees.
The Carr Corporation develops systems and offers consulting services for three geostationary weather satellite programs. According to the nomination submitted by U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Sgt. Adrian Ambe, the company was flexible about his schedule, maintained contact with both Ambe and his brother while Ambe was forward deployed to the Middle East, and fulfilled its promise to hold Ambe's job for him while he was deployed.
"(Carr) is fully supportive of my being in the reserve program. And even when the company needed my services most, he did not have any mental reservations that the United States of America needed me more," Ambe wrote.
Tony Dorsey and Jane Watrel, of NBC Channel 4, and Chartese Burnett, with the Washington Nationals, received the ESGR's "Seven Seals Award." The award, which represents each of the seven military reserve branches supported by ESGR, is given to those who support ESGR's mission and advocate service in the Guard and Reserves.
Additionally, Gerard Planar, of Howe & Hutton, Ltd., received the D.C. ESGR committee "Spirit of Volunteerism Award" for "years of dedicated service he has willingly and selflessly given to the nation and the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve who serve to protect it," according to a printed statement.
The D.C. ESGR also recognized two Purple Heart recipients from the District and the mother and brother of Army National Guard Spec. Darryl T. Dent, 21, a member of the 547th Transportation Company who was killed in Iraq on Aug. 26, 2003.
While the ESGR honored employers for their support and patience, Brig. Gen. Errol Schwartz, deputy commanding general of the D.C. Army National Guard, warned that their support would be called upon again in the near future.
"We are asking our Guard and Reserves to do a whole lot more, not only on the home front, but also the away game," Schwartz said. "On the 13th of October, we'll be deploying the 372nd Military Police Battalion to Iraq. So it's very, very, very important that we get the support of the employers in this."