When Businesses Support Citizen Warriors It Is a Win for Companies and the Nation

Blog written by APX Construction Group, a Greater Mankato Growth Copper Investor.

APX Construction Group CFO, Emilie Prange, was recognized by the United States Department of Defense with the Patriot Award for her support of a citizen warrior in the workplace. The Patriot Award was presented by the Minnesota arm of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program. Emilie was nominated by Orin Johnson, Petty Officer First Class, Master-at-Arms in the Navy Reserves. Orin is the Controller at APX Construction Group.

A ‘citizen warrior’ refers to an individual who serves part-time in the military while also maintaining a civilian job.

These individuals are often referred to as ‘citizen soldiers’ or ‘citizen warriors’ because they balance their military duties with their responsibilities as civilians.

The ESGR was established by the United States Department of Defense in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers.

ESGR offers extensive support for employers and employees. Their hope is that by creating a culture in which all American employers value the military service of their employees, they will limit any issues between employers and Service members. ESGR offers a progressive awards program for Service members to nominate a supportive supervisor or employer for support that goes above and beyond what is required by law.

Supporting citizen warriors in the workplace

Citizen warriors balance their duties as part-time military Service members alongside civilian jobs. The benefits for a private company to support these individuals are many.

Not only does supporting citizen warriors demonstrate a company’s social responsibility it contributes to a healthy company culture. Additionally, citizen warriors often possess a unique set of traits and skills that make them valuable to a team.

APX Construction Group CEO Ryan Evenson says, “First and foremost, I want to thank Orin for his service and dedication to serve our country. We owe so much to those that work to defend and protect our freedoms. As a business owner, it is our responsibility to provide citizen warriors and their families with the flexibility needed to continue their service.”

Patriot Award

While our nation relies heavily on Guard and Reserve service members, employer support of these civilian soldiers increases retention rates in the Armed Forces and makes our Nation stronger.

The ESGR invites Service members to nominate individual supervisors for their support. The Patriot Award recognizes employer support through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.

In his nomination letter, Orin Johnson states that within two months of starting his position with APX Construction Group, he was hit with short-fused orders for a one-week deployment to Washington, D.C. to support and train with his gaining unit. He says, “Emilie was not only supportive, but since the company didn’t have any written policy for military leave, she advocated for up to four weeks of paid military leave.” Orin said he was lucky and honored to have Emilie as a supervisor and APX Construction Group as a company that is willing to support their military employees.

In a Media Release the ESGR writes: The support she showed for him and to advocate for paid time off while he served his country was the epitome of what this award represents.

APX Construction Group is grateful for the service of all Service members. It is our honor to provide support and flexibility to those team members who are citizen soldiers.