WHEREAS, employer support is critical to a ready National Guard and Reserve, significantly impacting our national defense strategy; and
WHEREAS, employers who support the National Guard and Reserve also support the building of a more ready force by enhancing the retention of a high-quality military workforce; and
WHEREAS, more time away from civilian life is required for an increased tempo of trainings, schools, and deployments for our citizen soldiers, and the understanding and support of employers aids in maintaining our volunteer force; and
WHEREAS, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) program, enables defense readiness by fostering a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve; and
WHEREAS, ESGR is a volunteer-based program that conducts proactive outreach to service members and employers to make them aware of their rights and responsibilities under Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, and also employs volunteer ombudsmen who provide no-cost, neutral mediation to service members and employers when issues arise; and
WHEREAS, to recognize the patriotic employers of National Guard and Reserve members and the hardworking volunteers of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize August 18-24, 2019, as EMPLOYER SUPPORT OF THE GUARD AND RESERVE WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.