The week from Aug. 8 to Aug. 12, 2022, has been designated as the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week, to honor ESGR and the employers who support U.S. servicemen and women by providing them secure and readily available civilian jobs
Gov. Ralph DL Torres signed Monday at his office the proclamation that makes the designation, saying, “The members of the Guard and Reserves contribute to the safety and security of our entire nation and their civilian employers are also on the frontlines of our security as they support them. The Commonwealth and the entire nation would not be the same without the ESGR and their many contributions to our community.”
Monday’s occasion was attended by volunteers and members of the ESGR on Saipan, Rose Igitol, Joshlyn Blas, CNMI Area committee chair Rita A. Sablan, and ESGR Ombudsman for the CNMI Joann Aquino, along with retired members of the U.S. Army, Col. Harry Blanco and Capt. Danny Aquino, and U.S. servicemen employers Patrick Cabrera and Cathy Attao-Toves, who also attended the Legislature’s annual recognition ceremony for ESGR that same day at the Legislature’s chamber.
The proclamation recognizes all employers who provide U.S. servicemen and women with jobs that these individuals can return to after completing their service.
Blanco said the most important thing is for the community to understand the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, or USERRA law, which lists the rights of U.S. servicemen. Part of that law guarantees that members of the Guard and Reserve get to keep their civilian jobs even when on active deployment. That allows them to focus on their mission, knowing full well that there is still a job waiting when they return home.
“The most important thing is making employers and service members understand the law that provides the support of service members to get special military leave from the government and the private sector,” Blanco said.
Sablan said the ESGR has been around for 25 years in the CNMI “and we want to continually honor our employers that support the Guard and Reserves. …And we look forward to continually collaborate with them so that our Guards and Reserves are protected. …Not only do they serve our community, but they do also serve our nation…for any kind of emergency. …So we want to thank everyone for your support and continued assistance to ESGR.”
Torres also mentioned at the proclamation signing that the process of having a National Guard in the CNMI was nearing completion, making note that the CNMI will mostly likely have an Air National Guard, which would be more logical because of the military divert airport that is being built on Tinian.
This year, the ESGR celebrates 25 years of service in the CNMI and, as an agency of the Department of Defense, has been helping U.S. servicemen for 50 years.
Torres also celebrated his birthday on the day of the proclamation signing.