Culliver presented "Patriot" Award

Published 12:16 am Monday, April 3, 2006

By By Adam Prestridge
When the 711th Signal Battalion was called up for duty in Iraq not only did families have to cope with the absence of loved ones, but Atmore business owners also had to deal with downsized staffs.
Many correctional officers and other employees at Holman Correctional Facility were among those called up for duty, which put a strain on warden Grantt Culliver's already slim staff. In recognition of his support of the National Guard and Reserve, Culliver was presented the "My Boss is a Patriot" Award by retired Col. Herbert S. Lockett of Mobile, an ombudsman for the Alabama Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Friday morning. Also on hand during the presentation were ESGR ombudsman Charlotte Boyle of Atmore and Atmore Mayor Howard Shell.
"We do it to let the employers know how appreciative the ESGR is for their support of the troops because support from employers is needed at a time like this in our nation," Boyle said.
Culliver's award read, "For contributing to National Security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting Employee Participation in America's National Guard and Reserve Force."
Boyle said supportive employers are critical in maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's National Guard and Reserve units. The award program recognizes deserving employers whose support and good will are important to retaining highly skilled and qualified members of the Guard and Reserve.
The ESGR is a Department of Defense organization. It is a staff group within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs (OASD/RA), which is in itself a part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment.
"We always want to have good relationships between the employer and National Guard," Boyle said. "We at the ESGR do anything we can to promote the understanding between the two. We are pleased in the area with the employers because most of them have gone beyond the call of duty to help the guardsmen while they were away."
In addition to the "Patriot" Award, Culliver also signed a five-star statement of support for the Guard and Reserve. The statement pledges that employment at Holman will not be denied because of service in the Guard or Reserve; that an employee's job and career opportunities will not be limited or reduced because of service in the Guard or Reserve; that employees will be granted leaves of absence for military service in the Guard or Reserve, consistent with existing laws, without sacrifice of vacation; and that the five-star agreement and its resultant policies will be made known throughout the organization.

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