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ESGR beneficial program in ND and local area

There’s a program in North Dakota and nationwide that is doing great work largely under the radar.

Designed to gain and maintain employer support for the National Guard and Reserve, the aptly named Department of Defense program, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. June 22 is the program’s official birthday. The program was established by the Pentagon in 1972 under the President Richard Nixon administration.

North Dakota has been a strong supporter of its military members, including its National Guard and Reserve, but that doesn’t diminish the efforts of the ESGR. The program offers a reminder to employers of the importance of supporting the contributions their employees are making as members of the Guard, and reminders can be a good thing.

Delton Steele, ESGR North Dakota chair, told members of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee at a Lunch With The Boss event this week that the program’s mission was “to create a culture where every American employer shows appreciation and support of the National Guard and Reserve service members – their employees. That was the overall goal.”

The program includes outreach, recognition and educational opportunities, but ESGR also gives assistance in any conflicts between the service members and their employers. In that respect, Steele offers a pat on the back to North Dakota employers.

“North Dakota is a very patriotic state,” said Steele. “We have very few issues between employees and employers.”

N.D. ESGR has 40 active volunteers and more are welcome. Those curious to know more can contact ESCR Minot Region chair Paul Stroklund at 240-7156 or Janette Fetch, ESGR staff member in the state office in Bismarck at 333-2057 or janette.k.fetch.ctr@army.mil.

The ESGR program is a valuable asset in North Dakota and well worth a volunteer’s time.

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