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ESGR in the News


FEASTERVILLE, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced that the Oliver Healthcare Products recently received a Patriot Award and an Above and Beyond Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.

Members of the Guard and Reserve forces or their spouses my nominate their supervisor for a Patriot Award. This award is the first in ESGR’s series of awards that recognizes a Guard or Reserve member’s supervisor. It 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.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Nam Nguyen nominated Steve Pepe for the Patriot Award. Ngyuen is a US Navy Reservist serving at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. In nominating Pepe, Nguyen stated: “Steve goes out of his way to support my service in the USNR. When I was deployed last year, Oliver Health Care Products paid my full salary for the first month away. Steve personally went and checked in with my family (elderly parents) multiple times over the year deployment. He also spearheaded a care package donation campaign that he sent to my unit multiple times.”

The ESGR Above and Beyond Award was created to publicly recognize U.S. employers providing extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nation’s call to serve. Employers receive this award for having gone above and beyond the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act by providing their Guard and Reserve employees additional benefits: non-mandated benefits such as differential or full pay to offset lost wages, extended health benefits, and other similar benefits.

Pennsylvania Southeast Area Chair Wes Craig presented Pepe with the Patriot Award and CEO Mike Benevento with the Above and Beyond Award. In presenting the awards, Craig said: “Oliver Health Care Products demonstrates they value the military service of their Guard and Reserve employees by directly supporting them and enhancing the readiness and retention of our All-Volunteer Force, and our national defense.” Craig added: “National Guard and Reserve members bring tremendous skills and capabilities to our workforce, and employer support for their military service is critical to maintaining the strength of our Guard and Reserve units.”

Upon receiving the awards, both Benevento and Pepe told Craig that the company “Highly respects Ngyuen dedication, work ethic, and professionalism. We are eager to hire more Reserve Component services because of Ngyuen’s proven performance.”

Benevento signed an ESGR Statement of Support. The Statement of Support confirms that Oliver Health Care Products joins other employers in pledging:
• We fully recognize, honor, and comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA).
• We will provide our managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
• We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.
• We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families, in peace, in crisis and in war.

“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Craig. “I am asking all Southeast Pennsylvania employers to take a look at their current human resources policies to incorporate policies supportive of Guard and Reserve employees.” Many Pennsylvania employers provide support above and beyond their legal requirements by law by offering pay-differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military, when their employees mobilize.”

Oliver Health Care Products joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces. Craig added: “By signing the Statement of Support, Oliver Health Care Products is sending a clear message to its employees that while they are serving their country, they do not have to worry about their civilian jobs.”

ESGR, a Department of Defense office, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective, and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.

For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 1-800-336-4590 or visit

Posted in: Pennsylvania
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