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ESGR in the News


ANNVILLE, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an office of the Department of Defense, announced it recently held a highly successful two-day Bosslift event at Fort Indiantown Gap. This year’s event hosted 17 employers from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The event was hosted by State Chair Marty Kuhar and Pennsylvania’s National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler. Kuhar briefed employers about ESGR’s structure and missions, and Schindler introduced employers to the structure and mission of the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Employers also received briefings about the National Guard’s Army, Air Force, and Operations force structures and missions from Brig. Gen. Laura McHugh, Deputy Adjutant General, and other key staff members. In addition to these briefing, employers also received an overview of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act from State Vice Chair Susan Robertson.

The highlights of the event included meeting and talking with service members as they demonstrated their duties at multiple locations on Fort Indiantown Gap. The focal point for all touring activities was the Aircraft Maintenance Instruction Build (AMIB) at the edge of Muir Army Airfield.

The first stop on the tour was the Training Support Center (TSC) where employers toured the Training Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations (TADSS). The TADSS houses mockups of all types of contemporary weapons, equipment, and uniforms of opposing forces, all within a warehouse the size of three football fields.

The second stop in the TAS was the weapons firing simulation facility. Here, employers received a familiarization briefing about individual and crew served weapon configured along the indoor laser equipped firing range. The range is equipped with a large screen where real-world combat scenarios are projected and engaged by service members being trained on the Army’s weapons inventory. Employers were given the opportunity to assume firing position to test their marksmanship skills.

The second tour stop of the day was a short bus ride from the TSC to a field location where National Guard Army ambassadors demonstrated a squad engaging an opposing force. Squad members maneuvered under suppressing fires provided by a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle equipped with a machine gun. The team utilized smoke along with fire and maneuver tactics to neutralize the opposing forces observation post.

The highlight of the day was a visit to the flight operations facility at Muir Army Airfield. After a brief introduction and walk through the hanger, employers and ESGR volunteers were divided into four groups. The group received an introduction about flight safety procedures before loading onto one of four flights on a Black Hawk helicopter. Each approximately 40-minute flight took employers west of Fort Indiantown Gap for a view of the Susquehanna River and the Harrisburg area before returning to the airfield.

Bosslift day one concluded with a cookout at Sergeants’ Grove picnic area next to the Keystone Lodge Conference Center. Employers enjoyed a catered meal and conversed with members of both the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard enlisted service members and officers from the Command Staff.

After an eventful day one Bosslift, employers were energized for another day of touring facilities and meeting with servicemembers. Day two’s activities proved just as memorable as the first day.

The first stop was the Medical Training Facility building where employers go a firsthand look at triage simulation site complete with mockups of the back end of an ambulance and patient evacuation helicopter bay. Several highly advanced mannequins with varying degrees of injuries were in the triage area. These mannequins are complete with heartbeats, eye movement and pupil dilation, chest movement replicating breathing, and medical records. Everyone was extremely impressed at the state-of-the-art training, injury realism, and urgency of care scenarios Army medics receive at the facility.

Stop two of the day was back at the Aircraft Maintenance Instruction Build (AMIB) where employers were briefed on the types of helicopters maintained at the facility. The received a first-hand look at the analog and digital control panels of the old and new Black Hawk aircraft and had an opportunity to climb into the helicopter pilot seats. Then, it was onto the topside of the Black Hawk to view the mechanics that power the aircraft.

The AMIB tour continued as employers boarded the workhorse helicopter of the Army’s aircraft fleet: the Chinook. Once onboard, they were briefed about the Chinook’s troop and equipment carrying capabilities and how its matured since it was first deployed in 1962.

A short bus ride took the everyone to the Unit Training Equipment Site (UTES) for tours of and familiarization with 13 vehicles used and maintained by the National Guard. Each vehicles use, capabilities and functions were explained as employers walked the line of equipment. Clearly, the highlight of the tour arrived when everyone had an opportunity to climb onboard the equipment and to ask questions.

Moving inside the UTES, employer enjoyed a box lunch while servicemembers described the inventory of individual and crew-served weapons in the Army’s inventory. Everyone had an opportunity to speak with the service members about the various weapons and examine each.

Kuhar and the McHugh took this opportunity to address the employers and present them with a Certificate of Appreciation. Kuhar thanked everyone for their attendance and expressed his appreciation for their support of our Reserve forces. McHugh offered her profound thanks to employers for supporting their employees serving in the Pennsylvania National Guard. She stressed that our national defense depends on their continued support of the men and woman serving in the Reserve forces.

The highlight of day two and the conclusion of the 2024 Pennsylvania ESGR Bosslift event was a trip out to the live fire ranges to an artillery firing point and impact area. Employers were introduced to three weapons in the Howitzer family: M119 105mm towed, M777 155mm towed, and the M109 Paladin 155mm self-propelled. Everyone had an opportunity to examine each weapon and speak with the gun crews before they stepped back to observe a live-fire exercise. The live-fire exercise was followed by a ride to the Observation Post where everyone watched as the rounds from a second live-fire exercise hit the target area.

Kuhar once again expressed his gratitude to employer for their attendance at the Bosslift event and for their continued support of our Nation’s Reserve forces. He wished them all safe travels home, suggested that ESGR is always looking for volunteers, and mentioned that they could contact ESGR’s volunteer network with questions or for support.

In addition to participating in the Bosslift, representatives from the 17 employers attending signed an ESGR 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.

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

Photo 1: Pennsylvania ESGR Bosslift 2024 participants after their Black Hawk flight.

Photo 2: Pennsylvania ESGR Bosslift 2024 participants at the UTES facility with the M109 Paladin 155mm self-propelled Howitzer.

Photo 3: National Guard M777 155mm Howitzer gun crew member describes breech mechanism to employer.

Complete sets of photos and videos may be found at the following links:

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