Ben Tanner, Business Systems Manager for Imagine Learning, was presented the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award by Department of Defense representative Lynn Higgins at a company-wide meeting held this month.
Aaron Reynolds, Business Systems Administrator at Imagine Learning who serves as a Sergeant in the 23rd Army Band of the Utah National Guard, nominated Ben Tanner for the award. “This is a way for me to say thank you to Ben and to Imagine Learning for supporting my commitment to the National Guard,” shared Reynolds.
Support for National Guard Employees
National Guard and Reserve units generally dedicate one weekend a month and two weeks each summer to serve, but Reynolds is a member of a National Guard Army Band unit that meets at least four times a month, often requiring flexibility and time off work.
“We depend on employers to be flexible and work with us and work with our members,” stated Chief (CW3) Denny Saunders, Commander of the 23rd Army Band. “The vast majority [of employers] have been just wonderful to work with and Mr. Tanner is no exception.”
“For me, this award was about following through on Imagine Learning’s willingness to support employees as individuals,” stated Tanner. “I’m grateful for Aaron’s service and the flexibility the company allows me as a manager to support him.”
[l-r: SGT Aaron Reynolds, Ben Tanner, CW3 Denny Saunders of the 23rd Army Band, Lynn Higgins from ESGR/Department of Defense]
Department of Defense Patriot Award
The ESGR Awards were established by the Department of Defense to recognize employers who support their National Guard and Reserve employees.
The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.
An employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve may nominate individual supervisors and bosses for support provided directly to the nominating Service member and his or her family.
“The Patriot Award is for contributing to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve force,” explained Saunders.
According to the National Guard website, employer support enhances retention rates in the Armed Forces and strengthens national security. The ESGR awards were created to honor the sacrifices made by many employers year after year.