Governor signs statement of support for Guard, Reserve

Governor Terry McAuliffe signs the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support Sept. 5, 2014, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Va.  (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Governor Terry McAuliffe signs the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support Sept. 5, 2014, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Va. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support Sept. 5, 2014, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, Va. Joining the governor for the signing were members of the cabinet, state senators and delegates from the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Army and Air National Guard senior leaders as well as senior leaders from reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The Statement of Support Program is the cornerstone of ESGR’s effort to gain and maintain employer support for the Guard and Reserve and the intent of the program is to increase employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military.

“We have over 840,000 veterans as residents of Virginia,” McAuliffe said. “It’s important that the Commonwealth sign this statement and let them know that their jobs will be there for them when they return from military service. Department of Transportation, State Police and the Department of Veterans Services are state agencies that stand out as model employers for their support of the Guard and Reserve.”

The Statement of Support confirms the Commonwealth of Virginia joins other employers in pledging:
• We fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act.
• Our managers and supervisors will have the tools they need to effectively manage those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
• We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.
• 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 Guard and Reserve units. The ESGR Statement of Support program is the cornerstone of ESGR’s efforts to gain and maintain employer support of the Guard and Reserve. The intent of this program is to increase employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military,” said Steve Villalpando, ESGR State Chair. “The Governor is setting a high standard for all Virginia employers to follow the Commonwealth’s lead in providing above and beyond support of Virginia’s veterans, many of whom serve in the Guard and Reserve.”

When asked about the criteria, Villalpando said “By meeting the Statement of Support criteria, the Commonwealth of Virginia pledges to 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.”

ESGR, a Department of Defense office, seeks 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. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD.

For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 1-800-336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.