Region 8 Field Office Manager Receives Prestigious Award
by Richard Stebbins
The military and GSA have always had a positive relationship, either through our business processes or associates that are “dual-hatted” as civilian workers and members of the National Guard or Reserve forces.
Support for the military often goes unnoticed but the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) has a program to recognize those who go above and beyond for their employees.
Brenda Haar, South Dakota Field Office Manager for Region 8, was recently presented with the ESGR’s Patriot Award for her outstanding support of GSA associates to attend their military commitments during the year. John Riker, project manager for the South Dakota Field Office in Rapid City, submitted Haar for the honor.
“Brenda helped me set up an Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) that enabled me to have the Friday off before Drill Weekends,” said Riker. “I travel from Rapid City to Denver for Drill, so having time to travel is crucial.”
“Additionally, I am part of the leadership team in my unit, and we use Friday to prepare for the weekend. I cannot stress how important AWS is to my success in the Air National Guard,” he added.
Riker also stated one of the critical tools Haar set up to keep the office synchronized was a shared Field Office calendar. That enabled Riker to easily communicate absences to everyone in the office, which allowed him to collaborate effectively and efficiently with the entire team.
The Patriot award is presented to individual supervisors and reflects the 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, according to the ESGR website.
This honor is the first in a series of seven different awards given by the ESGR, a Department of Defense program designed to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers.
Other awards given by ESGR are the Spouse Patriot Award, the Seven Seals Award, the Above and Beyond Award, the Pro Patria Award, the Extraordinary Employer Support Award and theSecretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. Most of these awards are progressive in nature, each building on the previous award.
Haar received a certificate and lapel pin as part of the recognition and was touched by the sentiment of her grateful staff.
“"It was quite an honor to be recognized! It is always a pleasure to help those that serve our country!" said Haar.
ESGR has served the country for more than 45 years and is in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The ESGR’s mission is to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States.
Riker added “Culturally, GSA is a VERY military-friendly place to work. Between paid leave, Veteran's Day recognition, and strong willingness to accommodate short notice military assignments, GSA is a tremendous place to work."
For more information about this program, go to https://www.esgr.mil/.