The Mississippi Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR), an agency within the Department of Defense, recently awarded Attorney General Jim Hood and others at the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office with its Service Member Patriot Award for promoting a work culture that values the military service of employees.
General Hood and Tony Green, Director of Investigations for the Public Integrity Division (PID), were nominated for this award by PID Investigator Roger Wade. Wade serves as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Mississippi Air National Guard 172d Security Forces Squadron.
“Having this support isn’t just about me, it’s also for my family,” Wade said. “It makes being gone from time to time less stressful when you know both you and your family have support from your employer.”
The Service Member Patriot Award is the first in ESGR’s series of awards. An employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve, or the spouse of a Guard or Reserve member, may nominate individual supervisors and bosses for support provided directly to the nominating service member and his or her family. The Patriot Award reflects efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed. Patriot Awards are awarded to individual supervisors, not to an entire staff or organization as a whole.
“Hiring service members and supporting them as an employer is a no-brainer,” General Hood said. “Their background and work ethic cannot be matched, and I thank Investigator Wade for both his service to our country and to the people of Mississippi. I couldn’t believe this award was needed because it seems natural to support our service members and their families in this way. Unfortunately, I learned that’s not always the case. I hope other employers recognize the sacrifice these men and women make for our freedoms and support them when they are called away from their day jobs in order to defend our great nation.”
“The Public Integrity Division of the AG’s office is like a family, and when one of our own is called to serve, we don’t let their cases back home drop. Everyone pitches in to be sure our colleagues do not feel they are leaving work undone in the office while they are protecting our country elsewhere,” Green said. “We are proud that Roger is part of this team.”
The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office employs six people currently serving in the military, with three of those on active duty. ESGR seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. ESGR volunteers are available nationwide to: advocate on behalf of a member of the military, their family and their employer; recognize and help service members thank a supportive employer; inform service members and their employer about USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployments Rights Act); and mediate issues that arise between service members and their employer.
“It is an honor to serve in this capacity, as an ESGR volunteer. I take great pride in honoring our service members and their employers and being able to present such awards,” ESGR Public Affairs Director Lisa Ponder said. “It may seem like such a small gesture, but it is so much more than just an award. Employers who fully and whole-heartedly support our military personnel are true patriotic people, and that is exactly how it should be for each and every employer.”