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NEWS | May 17, 2023

ESGR Bosslift highlights Pa. Guard mission, capabilities to employers

By Sgt. 1st Class Zane Craig

Pennsylvania’s chapter of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve held a Bosslift event for approximately 20 civilian employers of Pennsylvania National Guard members here May 9 and 10.

The Bosslift serves as a thank you to the employers for supporting what their employees are doing for their community, commonwealth and nation. Seeing the men and women they employ in action helps them understand what it means to be a Soldier or Airman.

“Thank you for being here, thank you for supporting our service members,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general.

Schindler added that along with support from their families, Guardsmen need the support of their civilian employers, or the National Guard could not perform its mission.

ESGR a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the reserve components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities and provides assistance in resolving conflicts between the service members and their employers.

“We’ve been totally welcomed by the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guards,” said Martin Kuhar, chairman of the Pennsylvania chapter of the ESGR. “All of the instructors and briefers have been total professionals, and speaking on behalf of the employers, they are totally impressed with what their Soldiers would be doing on a drill weekend, while they’re training, or on a mobilization. They have a whole new appreciation of what our military does.”

The two-day event included introductions with Pennsylvania National Guard leadership explaining the Guard’s mission and operations, tours of selected Fort Indiantown Gap facilities with the opportunity to try weapons and flight simulators, and finally, a ride in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

Richard Larsen with Hersheypark and Johanette Koller with Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company were among the employers’ representatives at the Bosslift.

“It gave us a really strong foundation of what the Guard and Reserve do and the different trainings and how we as employers can impact the effectiveness of the military and help service members out with job security,” said Larsen.

Larsen said his favorite part of the tour was the helicopter flight simulator while Koller said hers was the weapons simulator.

“I think the opportunity to try a bunch of different things that I would have no real-world access to was really cool,” said Koller.

She added it’s very comforting for her as a Pennsylvanian to see the high level of training conducted here.

ESGR recognizes outstanding civilian employees of reserve component service members, nominated by those service members, with seven different awards in addition to the Bosslift program.