By Tech. Sgt. Erich B. Smith, National Guard BureauJuly 20, 2018
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Army Lt. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, director of the Army National Guard, honored ten civilian employers at a recognition ceremony during the Twilight Tattoo at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia, July 18, 2018.
"Without you, the employers, our Citizen-Soldiers would not be able to provide for their families and take care of their homes," Kadavy said. "But also, to what we do here in the Army National Guard, they would not be able to serve our country or their respective states without appropriate time off from their civilian jobs."
Kadavy presented certificates of appreciation to the employers representing a variety of industries -- from law enforcement agencies to education institutions to energy and transportation companies.
-Wicomico County Sheriff's Department
-Iowa Select Farms
-Maryland State Police
-Johnston Community College
Kadavy said the Army Guard is now a critical part of the Army's operational force, which means Army Guard members must maintain higher levels of readiness than previous years.
"We have to ask more of our Soldiers and their families -- not because we want to, but because we have to," he said. "And that means we have to ask more of you - their employers."
Army Lt. Col. Edmund Sabo, the chief of national engagement for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, said although laws protect Guard member's re-employment rights to their civilian occupations, the recognized employers have "gone the extra mile for their Guard employees."
"It's the patriotism of these employers that allow their employees -- our Soldiers -- to focus on their mission and not be concerned about their positions in the civilian workforce when they return," Sabo said.
That is important, he said, given the current operating environment of varied missions and diverse training requirements in being a traditional Army Guard member.
"The old 'one weekend a month' just does not apply to the majority of reservists," Sabo said.
In his closing remarks, Kadavy highlighted the role communication plays in building mutually beneficial relationships between the Army Guard and civilian employers.
"The Army National Guard has to be predictable, upfront and transparent to you [employers] so Soldiers may be successful with their personal lives and in their civilian careers," he said. "Our promise to you is that we will do our best -- to keep you informed of the increased demands of our Soldiers and your employees."
As host of the Twilight Tattoo, Kadavy also administered the oath of enlistment to more than 50 future Soldiers after recognizing the employers.