Employers study Air Guard 101
By Staff Sgt. Lindsey Soulsby, 120th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office
/ Published October 04, 2015
GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- The 120th Airlift Wing of the Montana Air National Guard hosted 47 civilian bosses for a boss-lift June 6.
Boss-lifts are events set up by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to educate civilian bosses of Guard members' duties.
"(These events) explain what these guardsmen do on a drill weekend to their employers," said Mike Flaherty, ESGR Chair Emeritus. "They're also to educate and advocate for what we do in life for these Guardsmen so their employer can understand why they may have to leave their civilian jobs to come to drill or training."
ESGR fills the seats with employers that have not had the chance to see what Guard or Reserve members do in a day.
The day included two briefings; one from the 120th AW Commander, Col. Lee Smith, and the other from Flaherty. The bosses were informed of the wing's mission and what the ESGR can provide for employers and members.
A C-130 flight was the highlight of the event. A two ship of C-130s took the bosses on a 90-minute flight to enjoy breath-taking views of the Rocky Mountain Front. Afterwards, participants attended the wing's annual family day picnic and enjoyed lunch with Guard members and their families.
There can sometimes be a disconnect from employee to member when it comes to drill weekends and training.
"(ESGR) connects the dots, we're a dot connector," Flaherty said.
Employers gain knowledge and understanding of their employees after coming to a boss-lift.
Flaherty said a common reaction from the 2,600 employers the ESGR speaks to annually is "I'm very impressed with my employee, I didn't realize they could do these things."
Not only does the ESGR work for the employer, they advocate and educate the military members as well.
The ESGR has a relationship with multiple employers and can take a member from unemployed to employed utilizing their massive network. Members of the Guard and Reserve are drug free, motivated and educated. Employers are looking for these types of people, Flaherty said.
In 2014, the Montana ESGR came in second with the most employment placements from Guard and Reserve members, just behind Florida with a margin of only one person.
"I enjoyed the flight, but the information was really good," said Raymond Soulsby of Soulsby Hereford Ranch. "The event was well planned and I was able to see what my employee does on drill weekends."