DoD Kicks-Off New Guard/Reserve Awareness Campaign
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2001 The DoD agency that has worked with employers of Guard and Reserve members for almost 30 years to emphasize the contributions of the reserve components to national security launched a new public service advertising campaign April 25 at a Pentagon kick-off ceremony.
Charles L. Cragin, acting assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, introduced senior officer and enlisted reserve component leaders to new 20- and 30-second ads sponsored by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The ads, depicting Guard and Reserve members from several civilian professions performing a variety of military missions, will be distributed to more than 19,000 media outlets, he said.
The outreach objective is to make civilian employers more aware of the crucial roles Guard and Reserve members play in U.S. military operations today, he said. Cragin noted the 1.3 million men and women in the reserve components comprise nearly half of America's total military force.
"Our (reserve component) members assist in international disaster relief, international peacekeeping efforts,and national emergencies," he said. "In fact, today, more than 600 National Guard and Coast Guard Reserve members are supporting recovery operations for severe flooding in the Mississippi River regions of the Midwest."
Guard and Reserve members are helping to enforce no-fly zones over Iraq, and 42,000 have served to date in Bosnia, to help bring peace to that divided, devastated land, he added.
The new announcements also "convey the critical role civilian employers of our Guard and Reserve members play in providing service members time off from their work in order to perform their duty," Cragin said.
He noted that President Bush recognized employers during a Feb. 14 visit to an Air National Guard facility in West Virginia. He recalled Bush's comments there as, "'Citizen- soldiers have always depended on selfless employers. You put love of country above love of profit, and you have the gratitude of our nation.'"
"Today, more than ever, America's employers play a vital role in our nation's defense, and I want to thank them for their efforts," Cragin said.
The employer support committee produced the ads in partnership with the nonprofit Ad Council, and the Warwick, Baker, O'Neill advertising agency of New York City, which donated its services, Cragin said. The Ad Council has assisted the national committee in obtaining almost $1 billion worth of public service advertising since 1973, he noted. Last year's NCESGR campaign, he said, reaped about $40 million in donated public service advertising time.
Created in 1972, NCESGR builds partnerships between DoD and private industry employers to help to ensure that reserve component members are available and ready when needed. More than 4,500 volunteer business, civic, academic and military leaders serve on Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve committees in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands. The volunteers work with local companies, chambers of commerce, associations and civic groups to promote support for the National Guard and Reserve.