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Officials Urge Reservists to Take Civilian Bosses to Soldier Show

By Army Maj. Elaine M. Gullotta
Special to American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., May 12, 2009 – A long tradition of "entertainment for the soldier, by the soldier" is getting a new lift -- not a facelift, but a "boss lift."

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Officials with the Defense Department’s Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve group are encouraging reserve-component servicemembers to bring their civilian employers to see the 2009 U.S. Army Soldier Show. U.S. Army photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

National Guard and Reserve servicemembers historically invite their civilian employers to spend time at their military duty location to familiarize them with their employees’ military duties. A typical “boss lift” includes a ride in a military vehicle or aircraft, a visit to a shooting range, or maybe even a visit to a military museum.

But reserve-component servicemembers will have something different to show their employers during the 2009 U.S. Army Soldier Show’s national tour, as members of the Guard and Reserve are being encouraged to attend the show and bring their civilian employers through the outreach of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

A Defense Department organization, ESGR encourages military members to look for and create "win-win situations" with their employers. Doing so can make things a lot easier for the reserve-component members when they need their employers’ understanding due to a mobilization.

"Guard and Reserve members should consider their employers as strategic partners who support their efforts to serve our nation," said Navy Capt. Ted Fessel, director of national operations and plans for the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. "The show is exciting and patriotic, and is a great way to educate employers about the military culture."

The Army Soldier Show was established during World War I by Sgt. Israel Berlin, soon to become better known as composer Irving Berlin. He conceived and directed the first Army Show - "Yip, Yip, Yaphank" – on Broadway in 1918.

Berlin went on to re-invent, write, direct and produce a Broadway version of the Soldier Show during World War II, under the title, "This is the Army." The 1943 film version of this production featured Ronald Reagan, Joe Lewis and Gene Kelly.

The Soldier Show is a high-energy musical revue with a cast composed entirely of Army personnel from the active duty, Army Reserve and Army National Guard. The cast is under the direction of a team of entertainment professionals, many with years of experience on Broadway.

The show tours the United States from May 1 through mid-November. All shows are free and open to the public.

(Army Maj. Elaine M. Gullotta serves with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.)

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Related Sites:
2009 Soldier Show Tour Schedule
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

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