Thirty-five North Carolina employers travel to Fort Bliss, Texas to witness their Citizen-Soldier employees conduct military training and learn a bit of what they do when not at work. Operation “Boss Lift” is led by the NC Employee Support to the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) and is a three-day trip to Fort Bliss, Aug. 16-18, 2018 | Photo By Sgt. Odaliska Almonte |
Operation “Boss Lift” had thirty-five North Carolina employers travel to Fort Bliss aboard a N.C. Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster to witness their Citizen-Soldier employees conduct military training and learn what they do when not at their civilian job and on Guard duty.
“Having employers experience what Soldiers do while on training helps us expand beyond the image of one weekend a month and two weeks a year,” said Col. Robert Bumgardner, Commander of the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team. “Employers are critical to our mission accomplishment and we grateful that ESGR is able to make programs like the Boss Lift happen.”
N.C. employers had the opportunity to get hands-on an assortment of military equipment, observe Paladin artillery, Abrams Tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicle live fire demonstrations and experience a Meal-Ready-to Eat (MRE) with their employee.
“This whole experience has broaden my horizons to think of what these Soldiers do beyond their everyday lives in North Carolina. They leave their lives behind to train and protect our nation. That amazes me!,” said Nathan Huret, who works at Catawba County Economic Development Corporation. “It is remarkable to see the enclosed space these Soldiers work in while inside a tank and in this harsh desert environment. You cannot be claustrophobic or have boundaries issues with barely any room to move while they work to accomplish their task in a small amount of time.”
The ESGR Boss Lift program is intended to gain and maintain support from all public and private employers of National Guard and Reserve component members. Boss Lifts bring employers closer to understanding and experiencing their employees as they perform military duty.
“Very few people have a real understanding of what a National Guard Soldier does, the only time they see a National Guard Soldier is during a hurricane or floods, but that is just one part of their mission, the other part is the title 10 “federal” mission when Soldiers are called to fight our nation’s war,” said Maj. Gen. Glenn A. Bramhall, Special Assistant to the Director of Army National Guard. “So to get employers out here, to get them on the equipment to see their soldiers in action really helps employers see the full spectrum of what their employee does. It’s a way that employers can relate to what their Soldiers are doing.”
The weather in this high plains desert environment is very hot and challenging to operate in, and for the past 12 days over 3,800 Citizen-Soldiers of the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team have been training hard honing their their combat skills of “Shoot, Move, Communicate, and Sustain”.
“Having this experience as a background now I have a better understanding of the true concept of Citizen-Soldier. So now when I interact with the companies of my county, I’ll be able to give them examples and say ‘yes’ they’re out here in the deserts of Texas,” said Nathan Huret, Catawba County Economic Development Corporation.
“But the reality is these Soldiers are here learning skills that are still applicable, maybe not technically applicable, but still applicable from a communication standpoint, from a team standpoint that’s what really matters in a business environment. Anybody can learn anything but the person that can plug into a situation and work with people that have different backgrounds and different skill sets and make something happen that’s really powerful.”
Operation “Boss Lift”, a three-day trip to Fort Bliss, Aug. 16-18, 2018, is funded and led by the North Carolina Employee Support to the Guard and Reserves (ESGR).