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ESGR: education, mediation and recognition for Reserve service members

By Lance Cpl. Tessa Watts | Marine Corps Forces Reserves | June 15, 2018


Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense program that educates, mediates and recognizes employers and the Reserve service members working for them. The program creates a supportive environment for both the employer and employee to be successful.

Ensuring that the Reserve component maintains a constant state of readiness is paramount to the success of the force. A big part of that effectiveness comes from finding a balance between the Reserve Marines civilian job and military career. ESGR aids in the success by conducting courses to educate the parties on the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), mediating between the two when conflict arises, and recognizing when employers are exceedingly supportive of their employees.

“When reservists do their annual training, we have volunteers conduct training to let service members know their rights in regard to ESGR,” said Brian LeBlanc, a Reserve component coordinator with Marine Forces Reserve.

Employers and employees are both responsible for following USERRA. Some of the conflicts involving USERRA include the employer wrongfully terminating the service member, or the service member not informing the employer of when they have upcoming drill weekends or deployments.

“If a service member deploys, and they come back and their employer terminates them from their job, that’s illegal,” LeBlanc said. “So we inform them of those rights.”

Not only does ESGR support and protect the service member, it also supports the employer by protection through USERRA and by awarding outstanding support of the reserve service member who is employed.

“We support both the employer and the service member,” LeBlanc said.

On Friday May 18, 2018, Charles Mitchell, vice president and project director of Oil & Gas, Black & Veatch Corporation, was presented the Patriot Award during the retirement ceremony of Col. Sean Pechon, former command inspector general with 4th Marine Division, at Tulane University. Mitchell acts as Pechon’s direct supervisor in his civilian job, and was presented the award for his dedication and support to Pechon during his 21 years of Marine Corps service. The Patriot Award is one of seven awards presented by ESGR that recognizes the efforts made by employers to support the Reserve service members working for them.

“We like to recognize employers that support the service members success in all areas of their lives,” LeBlanc said.

For more information on ESGR and how it strengthens the relationship between the employer and employee, please visit https://www.esgr.mil/, or see your ESGR representative.

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