HOLTSVILLE, N.Y. - Army Reserve Soldiers regularly face the reality and challenge of being a Citizen-Soldier, and balancing their civilian employment with the duties of their Army Reserve commitments.
Col. Daniel Jaquint, G3/ operations chief for the Army Reserve's 85th Support Command, understood those challenges in managing his dual roles, and decided to express his 'thanks' to his employer, Joseph White, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Mobile Computing, by presenting him with the Department of Defense's Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award, Mar. 1, 2018.
"I recommended Joe for the award for many reasons, and part of that extends past him just as the individual. The organization as a whole has provided me with tremendous support since 2012," said Jaquint. "An organization is a reflection of its leadership. Leadership is a reflection of its organization."
The Patriot Award is the first in ESGR's awards and reflects the efforts made to support Citizen-Soldiers through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, care for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.
Jaquint commissioned in the U.S. Army in 1990, and served on active duty as a Field Artillery officer, and then joined the Army National Guard before joining the Army Reserve in 2003. In 2012, Jaquint deployed to Afghanistan working with the Afghan National Police Counter-IED Directorate in Kabul.
"When I deployed to Afghanistan they were incredible," said Jaquint. "While I was there they were constantly sending a lot of care packages for the folks that I was deployed with."
Jaquint also shared several circumstances where his employer implemented support to avoid Jaquint's family from potentially facing financial hardships.
"When I came back, they basically offered me a choice of what I wanted to do in the company," said Jaquint, who currently works as the Chief of Staff for EMC.
Jaquint's wife, Vivian, who also works for the company, received a great deal of personal and emotional support while Jaquint was deployed, according to Jaquint.
"As long as I was getting the job done, they were very flexible," said Jaquint. "The days that I would take off to go to the battle assembly weekend (training), they didn't ask me to take vacation. It wasn't a problem. I may have something come up where I would have to be out of the office for the next three days for Army obligations, and it was never a question."
Jaquint shared that when he was promoted to the rank of colonel, his company, through the help of his wife, surprised Jaquint with a company announcement featuring his biography in the company's internal website.
"I think Dan's an incredible leader, both serving our country and in the civilian life," said White. "I'm incredibly proud of him and the work that he does."
Jaquint coordinated with his company to turn the tables on White and surprised him with the award during a company quarterly meeting. Jaquint arrived dressed in his Army Service Uniform and presented the Patriot Award to White, during closing remarks, with more than 100 employees in attendance.
White expressed that he felt proud to receive the recognition, and that it was a phenomenal way to receive it, the day before their employee appreciation day.
"Well with a little bit of shock here, it's an incredible honor to be recognized by the military," said White. "We're so proud at Zebra with Dan's work, and the contributions that he's made for our country. I feel very humbled, but honored."
Melissa Luff Loizides, senior director of Human Resources, shared that the company lives by a culture that supports the personal interests of their employees, and that they try to provide the opportunities to excel in employee's personal interests. She stated that this culture helps grow the level of loyalty that their employees feel, and in turn shows a great level of support for their company.
"This has been a great honor," said Luff Loizides. "What a great way to acknowledge a leader and the values of a company. I think we obviously look to Dan as a great source of pride for all of us, but I think it just speaks to the culture of the organization. We're 'Rolling Heavy' as our friend Colonel Jaquint says."