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Taking employers for a ride

ESGR Boss Lift reciprocates support by raising employers high in the sky

Puget Sound Business Journal Publisher, Emory Thomas, enjoys trying on different military equipment during an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Employer Bosslift event. Photo credit: Gary Lott

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Look up in the sky ... it's a bird ... no, it's a plane ... no, it's an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Employer Boss Lift.

An Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Employer Boss Lift was conducted from the Washington National Guard's flight line on Joint Base Lewis-McChord for more than 60 employers of National Guard and Reserve servicemembers April 2, 2016.

"The purpose of the Boss Lift Program is to show employers what the military does, and by doing so, make them stronger advocates for ESGR," said ESGR Public Affairs Director and Military Outreach Representative, Ohad Lowy.

Employers of National Guard and Reserve servicemembers typically have one of the best understanding of what "Always Ready, Always There" truly means.

"These bosses were nominated by their employees, who are also Guard members," said Lowy.  "They were invited not only so that their bosses can see first-hand some things Guard members do, but also for the Guard members to show their appreciation for having supportive employers."

With recent state activations to assist those impacted with the Oso Landslide in 2014, as well as with the rampant wildfires in 2014 and 2015 (fires of 2015 being the largest in state history).

Guard and Reserve members can hold full-time civilian careers while still serving this nation, during drill weekends, state activations and even deployment home and abroad.

This makes the emphasis to show the civilian employers that support these servicemembers, what these members of the National Guard & Reserves are doing.

It's not every day that a military member, let alone a civilian one, has the opportunity to fly in a four-bird formation up and down the Puget Sound.

Usually these types of events are primarily spearheaded by ESGR staff, however, this Employer Boss Lift wouldn't have been possible or had the many extras, like trying on gas masks, flight suits, etc., if it weren't for the members of the C Co, 1-140th Assault Aviation Company, Washington National Guard.

These Washington National Guard servicemembers made the employers feel like part of the team, in similar ways to how these employers have made these servicemembers part of their family, even if that entails a different understanding of service.

These employers have to be able to allow their military employees to leave in a moment's notice, when/if duty calls, and must provide the servicemember with a position of employment when their military service is completed.

A different level of management and staffing requirement tactics is typically implemented by the civilian employers that hire Guard & Reserve, so being able to show the servicemember's appreciation by providing a one-of-a-kind opportunity helps to keep these relationships flourishing and continuing to occur.

In just the month of February, more than 30 Guard & Reserve members were employed with the assistance of the Washington National Guard's Employment Transition Services and Hero 2 Hired employment programs.

Civilians can go an entire lifetime without flying on any type of helicopter, let alone a military Black Hawk, so having an opportunity such as this, is typically an impactful and very appreciative method.

Employers flew aboard four separate UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters around the Puget Sound area during two separate shifts.

Views of Mount Rainier, downtown Seattle, Boeing Field and more were easily visible thanks in part to the 70-degree sunny weather of this past weekend.

It won't be every day that civilian employers have the opportunity to serve and fly as a citizen soldier would, but on this day, that's exactly what they were able to experience.

Just one of the many perks of hiring a servicemember.

For more information on ESGR, please visit their website at or call 253.512.8468.

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