Letterkenny Army Depot received April 8 the Pro Patria Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office that works to enhance retention rates in the Armed Forces and ultimately strengthen our national security. The ESGR grants a series of DoD awards to recognize employers who support their Guard and Reserve employees.The award was presented to the Letterkenny workforce at the depot's headquarters in Chambersburg, Pa."The Pro Patria Award Committee for the ESGR is pleased to recognize Letterkenny Army Depot for its outstanding support of our brave men and women serving in the Reserve Components," said David Tebo from the ESGR's Pennsylvania office as he made the official presentation to depot commander Col. Deacon Maddox.Among the dignitaries assembled for the presentation were Sen. Rich Alloway, Pennsylvania's 33rd District, and Letterkenny's current and former members of a Guard or Reserve unit."Congratulations to Col. Deacon Maddox and Letterkenny Army Depot on receiving the prestigious Pro Patria Award, which recognizes the depot's support of Guard and Reserve employees," Alloway said. "This latest award is further validation of the depot's work and its commitment to its workforce. I am proud to support the mission of Letterkenny Army Depot and the skilled workforce that provides superior support to the warfighter.""Nearly half of the workforce at Letterkenny are veterans," said Maddox. "So support to our
country is prized and celebrated here. Being recognized by the Commonwealth for the way we support our employees is an unexpected and great honor. We are very proud of their service, and happy to support them and their families while they deploy."The nomination was generated by depot employee Matthew Brown, a power support equipment mechanic working in the AGPU/Gang section of the Power Generation Branch. Brown was also an E-5 assigned to the Pennsylvania Air National Guard unit, the 193rd Special Operations wing. The unit was activated and sent on two extended deployments. During that time, Brown's entire section, under the leadership of Phil Tomey, first line supervisor for the section, carried the extra workload in support of Brown. Upon Brown's return, he was overwhelmed by the support extended to him and submitted the nomination to the ESGR.Letterkenny currently has 91 employees who are members of a Guard or Reservist unit. In addition, there are 27 Guard or Reservists working at the depot under a program known as the Personnel Force Innovation. The program is designed to augment the depot's workforce, and is comprised of Guardsmen or Reservists who sign up for active duty and are put on official orders to serve a one-year tour of duty that can be extended as needed by the depot. They fill vital roles at the depot such as security forces, contract specialists, travel specialists, production equipment maintenance specialists, logistics management specialists and attorneys.ESGR's Pro Patria Award is presented annually by each ESGR State Committee to one small, one large and one public sector employer in their state or territory. Recipients have demonstrated the greatest support to Guard and Reserve employees through their leadership and practices, including adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the National Guard and Reserves. This is the highest level award that may be bestowed by a state ESGR committee.