Ballard East Elementary recognized for support of Iowa National Guard and Reserve

Staff Writer
Tri-County Times
Ballard East Elementary recognized for support of Iowa National Guard and Reserve

Ballard East Elementary School recently received special recognition with an ESGR Iowa “Pro Patria” Award for its exceptional support of our national defense through leadership practices and personnel policies that support their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

The “Pro Patria” Awards are the highest honors a state ESGR Committee can give. It is presented to just three employers in the state each year — large company, small company and public employer. This year’s awards were recently presented at Iowa ESGR’s (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve) Annual Award Luncheon for Outstanding Employers held in Johnston, on Saturday, April 23.

Ballard East Elementary was nominated for this prestigious award from the Department of Defense (DoD) by SFC Jeremiah Cox, a member of the Iowa Army Reserves and teacher at Ballard East. “Mr. Manock has been highly support of my military service since I came to East Elementary,” said SFC Cox. “He ensured my missed benefits from my 2011-12 deployment were given to me, and he was extremely understanding and helpful during my recent deployment in 2014. Mr. Manock continually asked about my family and their needs while I was gone, and when I returned he was extremely helpful with my transition back to teaching. It’s a relief to have an employer who does not pressure me about my military service and doesn’t see it as a hindrance to the teaching profession.”

“Every day, employers across the state support their employees who are also members of the Iowa National Guard and Reserve,” said Steve Bogle, Iowa ESGR state chair. “But sometimes, organizations truly go above and beyond in what they do — just like Ballard East Elementary has done. That’s why we’re pleased to be able to honor them with an ESGR ‘Pro Patria’ Award.”

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense operational committee, 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.

The Department of Defense established Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve in 1972. The mission of ESGR is to gain and maintain active support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees. Made up largely of volunteers, the ESGR has 100 volunteer members across Iowa. For more information about Iowa ESGR, visit www.esgr.mil/Iowa.