Guard, Reserve vital
June 3, 2004
With the activation of various National Guard and Reserve units around the state in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, it has become clear that they are a vital element in America's military strength. More than half of the men and women serving in U.S. armed forces are members of the National Guard and Reserve and many are being called to duty now.
According to the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, the performance standards for members of these units are the same as their active duty counterparts. The basic difference is that most members of the Guard and Reserve are part-time.
While that brings challenges to employers during times of active duty deployment, it is important for employers to recognize that their support and encouragement are essential.
ESGR suggests that employers learn more about the role of the National Guard and Reserve by:
attending public functions and open houses at local military units;
getting to know your employees' military commanders and seeking advance notice of annual military duty schedules so that potential conflicts can be avoided;
looking at personnel policies to see how they can accommodate and support participation in the National Guard and Reserve;
promoting and supporting employee participation in the Guard and Reserve and publicizing their support for your company and the nation's defense.
The Mississippi Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, chaired by Thomas H. Bowen Jr. of Jackson, is a great resource for information. We would encourage any employer who wants more information on supporting members of the National Guard and Reserve or who has questions to contact this group P.O. Box 320655, Jackson, MS 39232-0655.
Let's support our military personnel in every possible way.