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ESGR in the News


MANKATO, Minn. – Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brad Pyan, Minnesota Army National Guard, presented the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to his employment supervisor, Jake Radford. The award was given recently at Laketown Electric Corporation in recognition of Jake Radford’s support of his employee's service to the Minnesota National Guard.

Brad was very appreciative of Jake’s support and assistance with his service and Guard deployments and wanted to honor Jake. Brad stated that Jake’s father also served in the military and Jake’s brother currently serves. Jake understands the hardships soldiers go through. Jake is genuinely supportive of Brad’s time away from his civilian job at Laketown Electric. Jake contacts Brad on a regular basis to ensure things are going well while Brad is on active duty as well as when he is inactive duty training (IDT) status. Brad has a long (30 plus years) and distinguished career in the Minnesota Army National Guard. He has performed one overseas deployment and is deploying to Kuwait with the 34th Infantry Division in February of 2024.
An employee serving in the National Guard or Military Reserve, or the spouse of a National Guard or Military Reserve member, may nominate individual supervisors for the Patriot Award for support provided directly to the nominating service member and his or her family. 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.

In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Jake Radford signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support, confirming that the company 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 crises and in war.

Also present was Paul Ragatz, an ESGR Ombudsman/Minnesota Committee member. ESGR is a Department of Defense office that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the National Guard and Reserve through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. ESGR also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between service members and their employers. This year, ESGR celebrates over 50 years of excellence in support of the Reserve Components and their civilian employers.

For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

Photo left to right: Jake Radford, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brad Pyan (Photo courtesy of Paul Ragatz)


Posted in: Minnesota
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