Department of Defense honors Carterville

From the left: Phil Heimbecker, Awards Dir., Marla McGowan, Event Chair, Mayor Alan Griffin, City of Carterville, accepting Award, BG William Blaylock, Commanding General, 35th ID, RDAM (Ret.) Lee Metcalf, State Chair ESGR. Photo credit: Eden Sherwood with ESPhotography

CARTERVILLE, Mo. — Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense, recognized the City of Carterville, Missouri, with an “Above and Beyond” award in recognition of their extraordinary support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserves.

The presentation ceremony was conducted during the annual ESGR Awards Banquet on  Friday, August 9, 2019.   The “Above and Beyond” Award ceremony presentation was conducted at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel, St. Louis, MO. Rear Admiral (Ret.) Lee Metcalf, State Chair, Missouri ESGR Committee, made the presentation.  Alan Griffin, Mayor, Carterville, Mo., accepted this prestigious award for his city.  

The City of Carterville has been awarded numerous ESGR awards in the past in recognition of their outstanding support of their employees that are members of the Guard and Reserve.  The “Above and Beyond” award is one of the highest awards given to employers.  Employers that have attained this level of support are those that provide pay and benefits “Above and Beyond” what is required by law. 


Keynote speakers were BG William Blaylock, Commanding General, 35th Infantry Division (Missouri and Kansas National Guard), and Col. Charlie Hausman, Commander, Combat Aviation Brigade, 35th Infantry Division.  Both thanked the employers for their support of the Guard and Reserve.  They explained the complexities of mobilizing units for deployment and the impact on civilian employers.  The 35th ID recent deployment effected employers in 15 states.  Without the employers support this would not be possible.

According to Rear Admiral (Ret) Lee Metcalf, ESGR Missouri Chair, “The Above and Beyond Award” was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees.  This is a state level award that recognizes the employers that give benefits and support “Above and Beyond” what is required by law.  This is viewed as an incentive by the employer for those employees to join and serve in the military.  Those employees who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve. Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units.”

As the 1.3 million members of the National Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions with America’s borders and beyond, ESGR will continue to be the resource for the employers of citizen warriors. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between employers and service members. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at, or by calling (James Carver at 816-337-8175).

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