MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --
Nearly fifty employers from the tri-state region participated in the West Virginia Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Bosslift at the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, West Virginia, Nov. 9.
ESGR, a Department of Defense program, promotes cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers. The intent of the Bosslift is to help employers better understand what their employees do during military service.
“ESGR has been an integral part of Airmen and employer relations for nearly 50 years, and we are honored to support their efforts with events such as the Bosslift,” said Brig. Gen David Cochran, West Virginia National Guard Assistant Adjutant General – Air. “The Bosslift event provides an opportunity for all of us to build relationships, and gain insights into the challenges of our citizen Airmen’s commitment to serving and their employer’s commitment to supporting them.”
After an introduction to the 167th Airlift Wing mission and the role of the ESGR, the Bosslift participants were processed through the 167th small air terminal and then bussed to the aircraft ramp. They watched as cargo was loaded on a C-17 Globemaster aircraft and then they boarded the aircraft for an hour-long flight. After the flight, participants toured other areas of the base at Shepherd Field to include a maintenance hangar, the fire department, aircraft control tower and the flight simulator building.
During the lunch break, Tech. Sgt. Timothy Larson, a loadmaster for the 167th Airlift Squadron, presented the Patriot Award to Melissa Frye, his boss at General Dynamics. Larson, who deployed on short notice to support the Afghanistan evacuation efforts in August, was shown a great level of support from Frye and his chain of command at General Dynamics, he said.
“I thought it appropriate when I return that I recognize the support I was given and the efforts they took to not only pass off my job duties while I was away but then also check on my health and wellbeing while I was away and then incorporate myself back into the work flow as soon as I returned,” Larson said.
Airmen can nominate their employer for the Patriot Award to recognize their efforts made to support them in various ways such as offering flexible work schedules or granting leaves of absence.
“We often speak of our organization as a Guard Family. The employers of our Airmen are a vital part of the family; without their support our mission would fail,” Cochran said.