Draper Laboratory has received the Above and Beyond Award from the Massachusetts Committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), which is part of the Department of Defense. It was presented Dec. 2, 2009, and accepted for the Laboratory by President Jim Shields. The certificate reads, “presented on behalf of the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve forces, for outstanding service and continuing support to the national defense.” The Above and Beyond Award recognizes employers at the state and local level that have gone above and beyond the legal requirements (notably Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994) for granting leave and providing support for military duty by their employees.
Draper was nominated for the award by Mass. ESGR following a nomination of Eric Grant for a Patriotic Employer Award by Steven Conroy, who has been in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves for the past three and one-half years and a Draper employee since 2005, initially as a student. Deployed in May 2008, Conroy was sent to Iraq. After a one-year military leave he returned to work at Draper on June 1, 2009.
In response to high rates of activation for military reservists currently resulting from U.S. military activities in Afghanistan and Iraq, Draper has implemented a temporary military leave policy to augment its regular policy. In addition to continuing all benefits, the Laboratory provides military personnel the difference between their military pay and Draper salary.
ESGR works through a nationwide network of volunteers and a small, paid support staff to inform and educate hundreds of thousands of Reserve Component members and their employers about their rights and responsibilities, as well as best practices. Reserve components (all National Guard members and Reserve forces from all branches of the military combined) make up approximately 48 percent of total available U.S. military personnel. ESGR activities include recognizing employers that have policies supporting or encouraging participation in the National Guard and Reserve.
For more information about ESGR, visit www.esgr.mil.