HUD No. 05-165
December 9, 2005
JACKSON SIGNS 'FIVE-STAR' STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVISTS
HUD Secretary praises commitment of HUD employees who serve as citizen-soldiers
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today joined other cabinet secretaries throughout the Bush Administration to sign a "5-Star" Statement of Support for members of the National Guard and Reserve, committing the Department to safeguard their jobs during their active duty service.
Secretary Jackson signs "5-Star" Statement of Support during a ceremony at HUD Headquarters
"This is only a small gesture on behalf of those Guard and Reservists in the HUD family compared to the enormity of their service and sacrifice to our nation," said Jackson. "I am glad to reaffirm my commitment to honor and support the citizen-soldiers that are the very bedrock of our free society."
The "5-Star" Statement of Support confirms that HUD will:
- Demonstrate its support for its employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserves;
- Promise to safeguard job positions, support continuation of medical and dental benefits for family members, grant leaves of absence for military service without penalty of lost vacation time to those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve, to the extent allowed under applicable laws;
- Ensure men and women who serve in the Guard and Reserve will not be denied employment with the Department of Housing and Urban Development nor will there be limited or reduced job and career opportunities due to service in the Guard or Reserve; and,
- Advocate for employee service in the National Guard and Reserve.
Craig Duehring, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, said, "Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's National Guard and Reserve units. I am asking all of America's employers to review and amended their current human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. This is a significant event not only for HUD, but for all federal civil service employees. The federal government is one of the largest employers of National Guardsmen and Reservists in the country."
Duehring also presented Jackson the Department of Defense "Employer Support Freedom Award" for HUD's commitment to assist the Department's employees during their activity duty service in the National Guard and Reserve.
Secretary Jackson; Eric Greitens, a Navy SEAL in the Reserve and White House Fellow assigned to the Secretary's Office; DOD Assistant Secretary Craig Duehring
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972. The mission of ESGR is to gain and maintain active support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.
More than one million members of the National Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions that require extraordinary actions on the part of everyday citizens, ESGR will continue to be the informational agency for the employers of America's new Minutemen. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve website, or by calling the National Committee Office at (800) 336-4590.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.