ESGR Boss Lift introduces civilian, state leaders to Va. National Guard, Fort Pickett

Civilian business leaders and representatives of Virginia state agencies land at Fort Pickett for an ESGR Boss Lift, Sept. 9, 2015. The event was an opportunity for employers of Guardsmen and Reservists to see first-hand what their employees do in their military careers. Participants flew via a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from Sandston to Fort Pickett, where they toured the virtual training facility and the Mobilization and Training Equipment Site and rode in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Civilian business leaders and representatives of Virginia state agencies land at Fort Pickett for an ESGR Boss Lift, Sept. 9, 2015. The event was an opportunity for employers of Guardsmen and Reservists to see first-hand what their employees do in their military careers. Participants flew via a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from Sandston to Fort Pickett, where they toured the virtual training facility and the Mobilization and Training Equipment Site and rode in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — Civilian business leaders and representatives of several Virginia state agencies participated in an Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Boss Lift, Sept. 9, 2015 at Fort Pickett, Va. ESGR is a Department of Defense office which promotes cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component servicemembers and their civilian employers and assists in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. The Boss Lift was an opportunity for employers of Guardsmen and Reservists to see first-hand what their employees do in their military careers.

Gail Blauer of Deloitte Consulting LLP tries on some of the military training equipment at the Fort Pickett virtual training facility Sept. 9, 2015 at Fort Pickett, Va. Blauer was one of many civilian and state leaders participating in an ESGR Boss Lift event which provides an opportunity for employers of Guardsmen and Reservists to see first-hand what their employees do in their military careers. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Gail Blauer of Deloitte Consulting LLP tries on some of the military training equipment at the Fort Pickett virtual training facility Sept. 9, 2015 at Fort Pickett, Va. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

“The purpose of the Boss Lift Program is to show employers what the military does, and by doing so, make them stronger advocates for ESGR,” said Monica G.Hazelwood-Frisby, Virginia National Guard employer support specialist. “These bosses were nominated by their employees, who are also Guard and Reserve members, so that their bosses can see first-hand some things their employees do.”

“For me this was incredibly eye opening,” said Gail Blauer of Deloitte Consulting LLP. “It was an experience I will never, ever forget. I have no exposure to the military and this allowed me to see what our National Guard is doing.”

Participants flew via a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from Sandston to Fort Pickett. After an aerial tour of Fort Pickett and its training facilities, they toured the virtual training facility and the Mobilization and Training Equipment Site. They then experienced a ride in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

“I was blown away by how large the training facilities are at Fort Pickett and how many training opportunities it provides,” said Steven J. Combs, Deputy Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. “I never realized you had that extensive a mission at Fort Pickett and performed that level of support for other states and organizations.”

After flying back to Sandston, Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, spoke to the participants at a reception and joined ESGR leaders in giving out awards to some of the companies for their support of Guard and Reserve employees.

Williams explained to the employers that they are a key component to making sure the Guard and Reserve have combat power that is grown and retained. The American military can’t do the job without the support of the Guard and Reserve and the Guard and Reserve can’t do their job without the support of their employers.

For the participants, the day provided insight into not only the facilities and capabilities of the Virginia Guard, but also into the men and women of the organization.

“I walked away with a much deeper appreciation for our men and women in uniform, particularly those who maintain a career in the private sector as well as the military,” said George Bishop, Deputy Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. “The level of dedication and commitment that our National Guard and Reservists exhibit on a daily basis is astounding. I was humbled and moved by the experience.”

“Everyone says how impressed they are by the men and women of the Guard,” said Combs. “Their dedication and enthusiasm just shines through. You can tell they push each other to excellence.”

“Through this event I came to better understand the importance of their role in our national security and develop a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made and by our service men and women, and their families,” Bishop said. “Any employer fortunate enough to have a member of the National Guard or Reserve on their team would truly benefit from this magnificent program.”

Photos: ESGR Boss Lift introduces civilians, state leaders to Va. National Guard, Fort Pickett