Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Farnham, Adjutant General, Maine National Guard, (left) presents the ESGR Pro Patria Award to Chris Waaler, BIW Vice President, Engineering and IT and Capt. USN (Ret.) Contributed photo via Bath Iron Works

The Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) presented General Dynamics Bath Iron Works with its Pro Patria award for making sure the company’s employees who serve in the National Guard or Reserves have the support they need in the important work they do for the military.

The Pro Patria award is the highest recognition presented at the state level by the ESGR, a program of the U.S. Department of Defense. Recipients have demonstrated the greatest support to Guard and Reserve employees through their leadership and practices, including adopting human resources policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the National Guard and Reserve.

“We are extremely proud of the BIW shipbuilders who serve in the National Guard and Reserves and we are grateful for the opportunity to support their commitment to our country’s security,” said BIW President Dirk Lesko in a news release.

In assessing an employer’s commitment to supporting its National Guard and Reserve members, the Department of Defense considers factors like whether company managers and supervisors support military obligations including drills, deployments and annual training and that the support also extends to the employee’s family.

“Our hope is that by creating a culture in which all American employers value the military service of their employees, we will limit any issues between employers and Service members,” said Bethanie Mazzaro, of the Maine ESGR.

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