Personnel Management Society Vows Guard, Reserve Support
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 30, 2002 The Society for Human Resource Management showed its support for America's military reserve components Jan. 29 by signing a pledge at a society luncheon ceremony here.
The Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve is a program of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. It is a way employers can show their support of employees who serve in the National Guard or Reserve. The pledge is conveyed on a certificate also cosigned by the secretary of defense and the chair of the national employer support committee.
Helen Drinan, president and chief executive officer of the Society for Human Resource Management, signs a Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve on behalf of her 170,000-member organization. Also taking part in the ceremony are (standing from left) Thomas C. Irwin, national employer support committee chairman; Craig W. Duehring, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs; and Bob G. Hollingsworth, executive director of the national employer support committee. Photo by Rudi Williams.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The statement encourages the society's 170,000 members and their organizations to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act. But the statement goes further. The society encourages members and their organizations to pledge that:
- Employment will not be denied because of service in the Guard and Reserve.
- Employee job and career opportunities will not be limited or reduced because of service in the Guard and Reserve.
- Employees will be granted leaves of absence for military training consistent with existing laws, without sacrifice of vacation.
- Personnel managers agree to spread the word about the pledge and resultant policies throughout their organizations.
"Employers are the key to making the transition from civilian life to the military life effective," said Craig W. Duehring, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. "Without the employers, we don't have a prayer."
The society's signature, he said, should reassure at least some guardsmen and reservists that their families will be taken care of while they're gone. It also lets them know that people care that they're risking their lives on behalf of their country, he added.
Thomas C. Irwin, national employer support committee chairman, said the Society for Human Resource Management's statement is particularly important because its members wield much influence throughout U.S. industry and commerce.
"We hope by communicating this message to our members around the world, they'll in turn communicate the message to their many employers, colleagues and others in the work force management area that have an influence on work force practices," said Helen Drinan, the society's president and chief executive officer.
More detailed information about employer support of the Guard and Reserve can be found on the Web at http://www.esgronline.com/.