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Ohio Employers receive 'Guard 101'

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Christina Maddock
  • 178th FIghter Wing
More than 20 Ohio employers experienced first hand what their employees do when participating in military duty as part of their commitment to the Ohio National Guard March 7.
This is the first event for the Joint Employer Readiness Program, and they seek to recognize employers for their support, improve readiness by reducing Employer-Soldier conflicts and educate employers about the Ohio National Guard.
Employers were nominated by their workers for their leadership and patriotic support of the men and women of the Ohio National Guard in their communities. The Ohio National Guard, which is comprised of men and women in the Ohio Army National Guard and Ohio Air National Guard, has Soldiers and Airmen who reside in every county in Ohio.
The event started at Woodlawn Training and Community Center and involved eight units with employers getting to visit a total of three Guard units.
At the Woodlawn Training and Community Center, which is an Army National Guard unit, the employers were treated to a continental breakfast and a Guard 101 briefing by Maj. Gen. Harry "A.J." W. Feucht Jr., the assistant adjutant general for the Ohio Air National Guard. "We cannot do this without your support," General Feucht told the employers.
The Guard 101 briefing gave the employers history of the National Guard, information on the breakdown of the amount of funds spent by the government on the Army and Air Force, the community support, how employers impact the National Guard and a remembrance of those who gave their all.
The National Guard is the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States, having turned 372 years old in December. Nationally there are over 350,000 Soldiers in the Army National Guard and 107,000 Airmen in the Air National Guard, with over 16,000 of those Guardsmen residing throughout Ohio. The National Guard constitutes 53 percent of all Reserve Components, yet only represents 4.5 percent of the total Department of Defense budget. The National Guard investment goes further for the American people than other military assets, because these in particular are also available for employment by the State governors for state emergencies at the hometown level.
Nearly 50 percent of today's total military are Guard and Reserve members.
"Often what is required of our Guardsmen goes beyond that one weekend a month, and without the support of civilian employers, we would not be able to meet this requirement," General Feucht told the audience. The support of employers is an essential element that helps maintain the critical balance required to sustain the National Guard. As the global environment places more demand on Reserve components, the employers also feel the impact of that demand, he said. It is important to recognize servicemember's full-time employers play a role in the servicemember's career, and the employers at this event have gone above and beyond in their support of their Guardsmen.
"We believe [the Guard] impacts us positively because the men and women in the program can bring learnings on leadership to their careers at Standard Register," said Daniel Dunn, Director of Sourcing Operations at Standard Register.
The employers spent the day veiwing and participating in demonstrations by Soliders and Airmen put on at the Woodlawn Training and Community Center, Blue Ash Air National Guard Base and Springfield Air National Guard Base. They got to travel to and from Blue Ash ANG and Springfield ANGB on a CH-47 Chinook and eat Meals, Ready to Eat.
"I learned a great deal about what the Guard is, what they do, the commitment, and specifically the Ohio Guard... I also learned a lot about the equipment, both ground and air," said Dunn.
"The overall vision for Maj. Gen. Wayt's program is: to improve Ohio National Guard readiness by reducing employer concerns, issues, and problems through opening lines of communication and by facilitating positive relationships and collaborative partnerships between the Ohio National Guard and Ohio employers. This will be accomplished by annually recognizing 10 percent of unit employers and continually educating employers about the Ohio National Guard. The goal is to have 108 employers annually attending Joint Employer Readiness events," said Lt. Col. Lisa Gammon, Joint Employer Readiness Program officer.