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Press Release
May 09, 2003
Governor Kulongoski to sign Letter of Support for National Committee for ESGR
 
Governor Ted Kulongoski to sign Letter of Support for National Committee for Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR)
 
Salem, Ore. - Governor Ted Kulongoski will sign a statement of support for the Employer Support for Guard and Reserve (ESGR) this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in the Governor’s ceremonial office. Joining such diverse organizations as fellow Governors, corporate leaders Sodexho, Monster.com, and Harley-Davidson, Governor Kulongoski’s statement of support recognizes "the National Guard and Reserve as essential to the strength of our nation and the well-being of our communities." Mr. Jim Cleary (State Chairman ESGR) will lead the event, which will also be attended by military leaders of all branches of the Reserve and National Guard, including Maj. Gen. Alexander H. Burgin, Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard, will also witness the signing as the governor formally authorizes his support for this unique organization.
 
ESGR was established to address potential perceptional problems arising among the nation's employers regarding the phasing out of the "draft" and the establishment of the all-volunteer force. There was concern that the nation's employers, who were used to some of their employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve as an alternative to compulsory active duty service, might question the necessity of such service in a purely voluntary military system. The Department of Defense chartered an organization in 1972 to minimize interference between part-time military duties and full time civilian career responsibilities.
 
The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) was created to inform employers of the ever-increasing importance of the National Guard and Reserve and to explain the necessity for - and role of - these forces in national defense. ESGR seeks to gain and reinforce the support of America's employers for a strong National Guard and Reserve system. Originally consisting of a small, select, volunteer panel of distinguished Americans representing business, government, labor, and military, they directed most of their efforts at their peers. But it became apparent that this purely top-level effort was insufficient. Throughout the years, studies showed that nearly a third of the men and women surveyed about why they were leaving the National Guard and Reserve still indicated "employment conflict" as the source of their problems. Identifying the need for the program to expand, the committee established a nationwide network of local employer support volunteers, organized 54 committees (one in each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands). In this way, ESGR could bring the message to all employers, large and small, in cities, towns, and rural areas. Now, with thousands of volunteer executives, senior government representatives, educators, and military personnel serving on local Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Committees, a wide variety of informational and assistance programs is in place designed to capture the attention of the employers and win their support. A small, joint-service military headquarters based in Arlington, VA supports these volunteer committees.
 
For all queries, please contact Maj. Arnold V. Strong at the numbers above.
 
For more information contact:
 
Contact: Maj. Arnold Strong
 503-584-3885 or 503-580-2645