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Getting to know your Guardsmen: CT ESGR Bosslifts

Photo courtesy of Mr. Joshua Mead

Photo courtesy of Mr. Joshua Mead

Photo courtesy of Mr. Joshua Mead

Photo courtesy of Mr. Joshua Mead

EAST GRANBY, Conn. -- Of the many mis-sions in the Department of Defense, there is a special one that carries a subtle significance above the rest. Without this mission, it would be harder for Connecti-cut Guardsmen and Reservists to fulfill their military service commitments and ultimately their wartime mission. This mis-sion is a mission of awareness to win the hearts and minds, and garner the support of one of America's own, the employer. This is whom the Bosslift serves.

Typically one day long, the Bosslift is an incentive ride coordinated through the Employer Support of the Guard and Re-serve and is used to raise awareness of what Guardsmen and Reservists do when they take time off from work to train. Connecticut ESGR's most recent Bosslift took place on Sept. 8, 2012, and includ-ed representatives from, Hamilton Sundstrand, Apollo Security, Pratt and Whitney, Bicron Electronics, Pro Tek Auto and Freedom Mortgage. Most important-ly however, was that each of these repre-sentatives was nominated by their em-ployee who also serves as a member of Connecticut's Guard or Reserve force.

"The Bosslifts play an important part in our outreach here at ESGR, ena-bling the employers to see firsthand the important and vital skill-sets our mem-bers of the Guard and Reserve per-form daily," said Ted Graziani, the incoming chairman for Connecticut ESGR.

Starting at Brad-ley Air National Guard Base, the Bosslift showed the employers the vari-ous missions of the 103rd Airlift Wing. At the "hush house," they got their hair tossed around as the 103rd Centralized Repair Facility fired up a test engine to give the employers an idea of how much thrust is created by the TF-34 engine. Af-ter that, they received a hands-on-tour of the C-21 "Cougar," an Air Force small transport plane similar to a commercial Leer jet. But, not to be outdone, the Con-necticut Army National Guard invited the employers to take a ride on one of their UH-60 Blackhawks. Flying from here to Camp Niantic was easy aboard this military air-craft but unfortu-nately when the stormy weather rolled in, the UH-60 had to return home.

Even though the event the cut short the impact was not. The employers that went were still able to see what their Guardsmen did and were able to discuss with unit leadership how a servicemember's skills can translate to the civilian world.

According to Col. Fred Miclon, vice commander for the 103rd Airlift Wing, all Airmen have the opportunity to pursue an accredited degree through the Communi-ty College of the Air Force in their Air Force specialty which corresponds with a civilian career field. Additionally, employ-ers were able to perceive how integral they are in the readiness of servicemem-bers and how vital they are to the military services.

"The joint partnership between our patriotic employers with ESGR is indeed an important contribution for our State and Nation," said Graziani.

The Bosslift is a great way for service-members to say thanks to their employ-ers and to show them what being in the Guard or Reserves is all about. So, if you are a servicemember, or know someone who is, encourage them to contact the Connecticut Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve at (860) 524-4970 or by e-mail at CTESGR@live.com to nomi-nate their employer for a Bosslift.