ESGR educates Wyoming employers with San Diego Bosslift
By Master Sgt. Trudy Woodcock, Wyoming Military Department
/ Published April 05, 2010
Cheyenne, Wyo. -- Thirty-two Wyoming employers had the unique opportunity to participate in a four-day Bosslift to San Diego, Calif., last week on a C-130 military cargo aircraft, courtesy of Wyoming Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
Bosslifts, held across the country by ESGR committees, are designed to introduce civilian employers to the daily military life that National Guard and Reserve employees experience. They also get a first-hand look at the kind of new leadership skills military members might bring back to the workplace.
The Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing provided air transportation for the Bosslift. During the three-hour flight to San Diego, attendees were provided the opportunity of moving from the passenger section to the flight deck to see the crew in action.
That experience was a great one for Scott Phillips, director of aquatics, Cheyenne Parks and Recreation. Prior to takeoff, a random drawing of employer names was used to select two people to sit up front with the flight crew during each takeoff and landing at both airports. He won one of these spots.
The Bosslift provided unique opportunities for other civilian employers, as well.
Billy Montgomery, trainman and conductor for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation said, "I was in the Army during '68-'69 and it has really changed since the time I was in. I wish they had this program back then. Back when I was in, no one wanted to talk about it or to us back then."
"Part of ESGR's mission strives to increase employer understanding of our National Guard and Reserve force, and of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which affects employers of reservists," said retired Brig. Gen. Stephan Pappas, chairman of the Wyoming ESGR Committee. "Bosslifts are a great tool offered by the Department of Defense that helps us do just that."
The Bosslift included tours of the cruiser USS Cape St. George and the aircraft carrier Midway, the U.S. Navy's Deep Submergible Unit, Military Working Dogs Unit and Marine Corps Recruiting Detachment.
"A highlight of the trip was seeing the U.S. Navy cruiser Cape St. George," said Jordan King, director of system operation and control with Great Lakes Airlines. "I was impressed by the galleys; the food was better than I had imagined."
"By exposing civilians to military training, people, and equipment we hope to increase understanding of the issues our military reservists face, and hopefully encourage greater support from their employers," said Pappas.
Montgomery also felt that by going on this trip he gained a better understanding of what is required of a military member, by seeing and talking to the Navy Sailors and touring the ship. He said everyone he talked to explained their job and career, and said they had the best job in the Navy.
"Now there is a better grade of Soldier, back when I was in there was the draft. I am very impressed with the quality and professionalism of the military members now."
Wyoming ESGR staff and volunteers ensure employers are briefed on all military services under the "seven seals," which include the Army National Guard and Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air National Guard and Reserves, and Coast Guard Reserve.