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NEWS | Aug. 23, 2021

Navy Reserve Recognizes Outstanding Civilian Employers at NERE 2021

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Caracci, Navy Region Southwest Reserve Component Command

Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. John Mustin recognized select civilian employers from across the nation for their exceptional support of America's Navy Reserve Sailors, including their support of Reserve Sailor mobilization for COVID-19 pandemic national relief efforts, during a Navy Employer Recognition Event (NERE) August 20.

The day commenced aboard USS Midway Museum where Mustin addressed representatives from 25 Reserve Sailor employer organizations and presented each employer with a certificate of appreciation, broadcast live to social media.

"This is our 10th Navy Employer Recognition Event, a program we began in 2010 as our way of thanking and recognizing employers who enthusiastically support their employees’ service in the Navy Reserve,” said Mustin. “I think you will enjoy the schedule of events that we’ve put together for you today. Our goal is for you to see first-hand a sampling of your employees’ capabilities and the different types of service they contribute to our nation and our national defense.”

During the recognition event, employers spoke with Navy Reserve unit aviators and aircrew and experienced an up-close look at Navy aircraft assembled at Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 57 at Naval Air Station North Island, California. Participants also visited Silver Strand Training Complex where they had the opportunity to speak with expeditionary and special warfare Navy Reserve Sailors during a small-boat display provided by Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 1 and static displays of weapons and equipment provided by SEAL Team 17.

Ricky Freeman, president of Honeywell Defense and Space Corporation, underscored the importance of civilian employers' support of their employees who are in the National Guard and Military Reserve Forces.

“I’m a former warfighter myself, and as a leader in the civilian sector, I think it’s very important that we support our men and women in uniform,” said Freeman. “I’m very much dedicated to doing that. In my mind, I would like to see more employers come to these events because they have to understand that what these men and women do is dangerous, but it is absolutely essential for our national security.”

U.S. Navy Lt. Sarah Freeman, a Selected Reserve Sailor who works for UNC REX Healthcare, spoke about how the event helped attendees gain a better appreciation of the nature and importance of tasks that Reserve Sailors perform at training events and mobilizations.

“My employer has been very supportive of my Reserve time,” said Freeman. “However, having them able to see what the military does and how important the mission is, is critical.”

The Navy Reserve mobilized 2,875 service members during 2020 under presidential authorization for support to the Department of Defense’s pandemic response. Mustin iterated the impact of this to employers of Navy Reservists and emphasized the importance of their support.

“COVID-19 put more than usual strain on employers and Reserve Component members with short-notice mobilizations to medical facilities and then our public shipyards,” said Mustin. “That is why I am so happy to be here with you today and why we decided that this year’s NERE nominations and events would celebrate those companies who supported our response to COVID. Thank you for your continued support of your employees.”

NERE 2021 culminated with dinner and a reception at the Admiral Kidd Catering and Conference Center at Naval Base Point Loma, Harbor Drive Annex, sponsored by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) organization, a DoD program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the Reserve Components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities.

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