College of Allied Health Sciences Dean Stephen Thomas, on behalf of East Carolina University, received a Navy Employer Support Certificate of Appreciation from Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun during a ceremony at Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek in Norfolk, Va. on June 20.
“I am truly honored to have been nominated for this reserve employer recognition by Pat Frede, our director of development and a proud Navy Veteran and Reservist. It was a privilege to tour the base in Norfolk and witness the demonstrations mostly by reservists and I am grateful to have experienced it. This recognition is another example, in addition to the Freedom Award received by Chancellor Steve Ballard in 2010, of how ECU continues to remain a military friendly campus,” said Dr. Thomas.
The certificate is presented by the Chief of Navy Reserve annually to recognize selected civilian employers of Navy Reserve Sailors, as nominated by their own citizen-Sailor employees. Selected employers were nominated by their Navy Reserve Sailor employees.
“Employer support is critical to the Navy Reserve mission. Since 9/11, more than 70,000 Reserve Sailors have been mobilized and served around the world – many for multiple tours. In fact, in any given month nearly 25% of our Navy Reserve force is deployed globally. The magnitude of support for the employee by the employer is truly remarkable,” said Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve. “This is our opportunity to thank these outstanding patriots for their support.”
At the beginning of the day, the Chief of Navy Reserve met with Dr. Thomas and 39 other civilian employers of Navy Reserve Sailors from across the nation and presented them with a Certificate of Appreciation for their dedication and support of employees who serve in the Navy Reserve, ensuring that their Sailors are “Always Ready. Anytime, Anywhere.”
Throughout the one-day event employers had the opportunity to get a close up and personal look at the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, a fast-attack submarine at Submarine Force Atlantic, the USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) at Naval Station Norfolk, a static display of aircraft from Naval Air Force Reserve, and witness a demonstration by Reserve SEAL Team 18.
Companies invited to this year’s event were nominated by their employees who are also Navy Reserve Sailors. Guests included CEOs, company owners and senior executives from small, medium and large companies who encourage company leadership to promote a culture of pride and recognition in their employees’ service, value their Reserve Sailor/employee and support their service, even when called to duty on short notice, and maintain contact with the Reserve Sailor and their family members when they are on duty for an extended period of time.
“Employers are a key facet of every Reserve Sailor’s life. The service each Sailor provides to the fleet is achieved in no small part due to employer support,” said Braun. “Employer support of our Reserve and Guard forces not only means peace and freedom abroad – it means peace and freedom here at home. It can never be taken for granted. They are critical not just to our readiness, but also to our recruiting, retention and esprit de corps.”
The Navy Employer Recognition Event is an annual Navy familiarization day sponsored by the Chief of Navy Reserve to recognize employers who provide their Reserve Sailors with superior support, and provide them an opportunity to see first-hand what Reserve Sailors do every day. Selected employers are chosen from nominations submitted by their Reserve Sailor employees.