Jan. 25, 2011

Governor Bob McDonnell signs Statement of Support for the National Guard and Reserve  

From Staff Reports

RICHMOND, Va. — Roger Trout of the Virginia Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense, announced that Governor McDonnell signed a Statement of Support for the National Guard and Reserve on Tuesday, January 18th.  The signing ceremony was held at the Cabinet Conference Room, 1111 E. Broad Street in Richmond.  

  Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signs a Statement of Support for the National Guard and Reserve Jan. 18 in Richmond flanked by Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, and Roger Trout of the Virginia Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia Department of Military Affairs)

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signs a Statement of Support for the National Guard and Reserve Jan. 18 in Richmond flanked by Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, and Roger Trout of the Virginia Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia Department of Military Affairs)

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The Statement of Support confirms that Governor McDonnell joins other employers in pledging that:

• We fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA).

• Our managers and supervisors will have the tools they need to effectively manage those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

• We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families in peace, in crises and in war.

“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units.  I am asking all Virginia employers to review and amend their current human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA),” said Roger Trout. “Many Virginia employers provide ‘Above and Beyond’ support with pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military, when their employees are mobilized.”

When asked about the criteria, Trout said, “By meeting the Statement of Support criteria, the Commonwealth of Virginia will stand proudly with its Guard and Reserve employees, who continue to answer their nation’s call to defend our way of life. Their personal sacrifices are essential to the strength of our nation.”

“Governor McDonnell joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces,” added Trout.  “By signing the Statement of Support, our Governor is sending a clear message to the employees of the Commonwealth that while they are serving their country they do not have to worry about their civilian jobs.”

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972. The mission of ESGR is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service by advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of applicable laws, and resolving conflict between employers and service members. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.

As the 1.3 million members of the Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions that require extraordinary actions on the part of everyday citizens, ESGR will continue to be the informational agency for the employers Guard and Reserve service members.  ESGR will advocate relevant initiatives, recognize outstanding support, increase awareness of applicable laws, and resolve conflict between employers and service members. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil, or by calling Tom Stephen, Program Support Manager of the Virginia ESGR at (804) 236-7493.

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