JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
The International Conference on Employer Support of the Reserves recently came to Joint Base Andrews to participate in a mini air show featuring reserve component air power.
The ICESR is a biennial event that brings together Reserve Forces Leaders, employers, government and non-government partners, and other stakeholders from around the globe. The purpose of the conference is to share information and experience regarding methods of support by and for civilian employers of Reserve Forces members, and to explore future strategies for the development and use of Reserves. This is the first time the U.S. has hosted the ICESR.
“We knew employers were going to be very important to men and women who serve outside the active component,” said General Craig McKinley, retired, ESGR National Chairman. “So that’s why we are meeting, why we are getting together with our counterparts from Europe, Australia and Canada to talk about things that can make us more effective and efficient.
Employer support is vitally important to the readiness of the National Guard and Reserve and their role in the national security strategy. Service members bring unique talents and skill sets to the civilian workforce, and to make this arrangement work, both the employer and employee are given rights and responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
“Just take the time to go over some of the things that the ESGR provides and making sure you’re aware of some of the options they have in time of need,” said Senior Airman Terrence Jones, 459th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crewchief.
One of the ESGR’s outreach tools is called the “boss lift”, it’s a way to thank a nominated employer for hiring and supporting a service member by allowing them to get a first-hand look at their employee’s military mission. Now, the boss lift might be something that other countries will adopt into their programs.
“We are in the process of revitalizing our employer support program so there’s been a lot of good learning from us, especially this boss lift,” said Maj. Nikolaj Lundsten, royal Danish Army. “It is something we for sure will look into when we get back to Denmark.”
The relationships the US and the ESGR have with their foreign allies are vital for the relationships guard and reserve members have with their employers.
“Because there are best practices. The United States of America doesn’t always have the best answer, so we are learning from our counterparts,” McKinley said. “They are learning from us, and I think having this conference every two years is very important to the success of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.”