SALINAS, Puerto Rico -- The Puerto Rico National Guard and the Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), conducted the now traditional employer day "Bosslift" at Camp Santiago, Salinas. The event gives the employers of National Guard members the opportunity to experiment a day as a Soldier, thus providing a better understanding of what their employees do during their military training.

"The National Guard mission is of fundamental importance to Puerto Rico and the Nation, not only in the areas of security and domestic response, but also in supporting the community," said the Adjutant General of Puerto Rico, Brig. Gen. Isabelo Rivera. "This kind of event seeks to create an understanding among the employers of the variety of tasks their employees conduct when on military duty with the PRNG. In order to conduct our mission we need the unconditional support, not only from our Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen's families, but from their employers as well."

During the day the employers had the opportunity to participate in a variety of military equipment exhibitions and demonstration. They also participated in a virtual reality convoy, used weapons at a simulated weapons range and witnessed a riot control and active shooter apprehension demonstration. In addition to the use of military equipment and eating on military rations, the employers had the chance to get an orientation flight in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

"The support we receive from the employers means that the people of Puerto Rico can depend on their National Guard during emergencies and moments of need," Rivera said. "However it is not only this support, but the employers will have employees who are highly trained and prepared, with a vision of discipline and commitment that will maximize the presence of their organizations. This exchange benefits everybody."

Bosslift is and Department of Defense event that has been taking place for nearly 15 years. The event seeks to increase support and create an understanding from the employers of the importance of the National Guard.

The ESGR offers the following tips for employers to support employees who serve in the National Guard or Reserves.

• Learn more about the role of the National Guard and Reserve by asking your employees what they do and how they fit into the big picture of national defense.

• Get to know your employees' military commanders and supervisors, ask for advance notice of your employees' annual military duty schedule to work out conflicts as soon as possible.

• Examine your personnel policies to see how they accommodate and support participation in the National Guard or Reserve.

• Encourage employee participation in the National Guard and Reserve and help them apply the training they receive from military duty.

• Discuss with your employees their service requirements before any problems arise and maintain open communication.

• Seek assistance from the ESGR. Ombudsmen serve as confidential, neutral liaisons for employers and employees seeking assistance or clarification regarding rights and responsibilities.

• Sign a Statement of Support for the National Guard and Reserve and display it prominently.

• Become an ESGR volunteer.