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Release No: 055-99
February 09, 1999


Six new state committee chairpersons for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) were appointed today by Charles L. Cragin, acting assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs in a Pentagon ceremony.

James O. Campbell, Alaska; Melvin C. Thrash, Arkansas; Arthur C. Tokin, Hawaii; Dr. George W. Schubert, North Dakota; John R. Ricottilli Jr., Rhode Island and Raymond C. Jones, Virgin Islands are the new appointees who join a team of 54 ESGR committee chairs nationwide, one in each state, territory and the District of Columbia. Each has previously served as a volunteer on a state/territory ESGR committee and was nominated by search committees within each jurisdiction prior to their selection.

"The state chairpersons are vital because they provide the leadership to the 4,200 ESGR volunteers, nationwide, who are working to garner support from the civilian employers of Reserve and National Guard personnel," said Cragin. "Our Reservists and Guardsmen are being used in more cases and more places than ever before. They must have the cooperation of their civilian bosses so that they can continue to meet their military commitments."

While in Washington, D.C., the appointees will participate in an intense orientation program to prepare them for their duties.

The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (NCESGR) was chartered in 1972 to minimize conflicts between part-time military duties and full-time civilian career responsibilities. At that time, the U.S. armed forces were transitioning to an all-volunteer force.

"Today more than half of the nation's military strength resides in the National Guard and Reserve," Cragin said. "It is important, particularly as the role of Reserve forces grows, that we not take the support of employers for granted. The state ESGR committees are a vital means to ensure that we don't."

For more information, call Lt. Col. Terry Jones, (703) 695-3620 in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, or Lt. Col. Mike Edrington at NCESGR at (703) 696-1381, or visit the Reserve Affairs web site at http://dod.mil/ra/.

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