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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 131-03
March 20, 2003

ESGR TO OPEN AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE

The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) will ring the opening bell at the American Stock Exchange (Amex) Friday, March 21, 2003, at 9:30 a.m. EST. Opening the Amex on behalf of the Department of Defense and ESGR will be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Thomas F. Hall, and ESGR Executive Director Bob Hollingsworth.

ESGR is a Department of Defense agency that promotes cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and assists in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. ESGR operates through a network of more than 4,200 volunteers throughout 55 committees located in each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Europe.

Amex has already demonstrated its support to employees who participate in the National Guard and Reserve by signing a statement of support. The statement is a pledge from an organization to publicly support their Guard and Reserve members and follow the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

USERRA requires that employers not deny employment to an individual who is a member of the Guard or Reserve; not limit or reduce employee job or career opportunities because they are a member of the Guard or Reserve; allow Guard and Reserve members time off for military training; and, make these policies well-known throughout the organization.

Guard and Reserve members, as well as their employers, can find out more about ESGR by visiting http://www.esgr.com or calling toll-free (800) 336-4590.

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