MILLTOWN, NJ – Leaders of local chapters of the he Association of the U.S. Army recently gathered at the Joyce Kilmer American Legion Post 25 this month to sign a statement of support for employment rights of National Guard and Reserve soldiers.

The national ceremony was held in AUSA’s Conference and Event Center in Arlington, Va, and AUSA National challenged its chapters as well as corporate and sustaining members to also sign statements supporting guard and reserve components.

Retired Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, AUSA president and CEO, signed the document on behalf of the association in a brief ceremony with Paul E. Mock, who heads the Defense Department’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program.

Sign Up for E-News

“It was time for us to refresh our support and we are very, very glad to do that,” Ham said. “The National Guard and Reserve are absolutely essential to the Total Army.”

The statement of support recognizes the reserve components are essential to the strength of our nation and the well-being of our communities. In the highest American tradition, the patriotic men and women of the Guard and Reserve serve voluntarily and in an honorable and vital profession.

“ESGR is a mostly volunteer group that promotes cooperation and understanding between the reserve components and civilian employers,” Mock, who has been national chair of the program since 2013, said.  “About 45,000 businesses and organizations sign statements of support each year.”

They train to respond to their community and their country in time of need. They deserve the support of every segment of our society.”

The statement includes four pledges:

1. Support and comply with federal employment and re-employment rights for Guard and Reserve members.

2. Provide AUSA managers and supervisors the tools to manage Guard and Reserve employees.

3. Appreciate the leadership and skills Guard and Reserve soldiers bring to the workforce by encouraging employment opportunities.

4. Continually recognize and support service members and their families.

“Anytime we can show our support for the men and women of our Army, we will,” Nick Pugliese, President of the AUSA Picatinny-Middles Forge Chapter said. “We welcome individual and corporate memberships to support service members.

Since 1950, the Association of the United States Army has worked to support all aspects of national security while advancing the interests of America's Army and the men and women who serve.

For more information on joining AUSA or supporting America’s Soldiers go to AUSU NJ