IDAHO ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, UNITED STATES
Story by 2Lt. Crystal Farris
More than 100 National Guard and Reserve employers and supervisors traveled to Gowen Field from across the state today to participate in the Idaho ESGR’s annual Boss Lift.
The two-day event gives participants a first-hand look into what their Soldiers, Marines and Airmen do away from work approximately 36 days of the year for military training.
“We enjoy tremendous support from our employers and the ESGR throughout Idaho and we do not take that for granted,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, adjutant general of Idaho. “Boss Lift is a great opportunity to create awareness of our missions in the Idaho National Guard and Reserves and to express our appreciation to those employers and the community who contribute to our mission readiness.”
ESGR aims to promote, recognize and develop employer support for Guard and Reserve service through employer outreach opportunities. As part of Boss Lift, Citizen-Soldiers, Marines and Airmen invited their employers to walk a day in their boots touring various training simulators, Gowen Field and Orchard Combat Training Center facilities and ranges, aircraft and other military hardware used by the Idaho National Guard and Reserve units for training. Additionally, Idaho Army National Guard, US Army, Marine Reserve and Idaho Air National Guard representatives were available to answer questions from employers on machinery and provide insight into the life of a military member.
Wendy Lovitt, who supervises Airman Melynda Scheller in her nursing job at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, said Scheller was really excited to invite her to Boss Lift.
“Melynda really wanted me to come so I could see everything that goes on in her Guard life,” said Lovitt. “See felt like my seeing it and being around it all would better help me understand things then if she were to explain them herself. I definitely feel more connected to her lifestyle after today.”
Training simulators offered employers a fun look into how service members develop tactical and technical skills in combat operations from a controlled in-door environment. The tour included the 124th Fighter Wing’s A-10 Thunderbolt II and the Idaho Army National Guard’s M4 rifle and HMMWV simulators.
The Idaho Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion of the 183rd Assault Helicopter Battalion flew employers in UH-60 Black Hawks over the vast terrain and world-class military ranges of the Orchard Combat Training Center. For some passengers, it was their first time in a helicopter and for others it offered insight into the austere conditions service members train in throughout the year.
“It is important for employers to understand what their service members do when fulfilling their military commitments,” said Cindy Reese, ESGR state chair. “This event gives them the opportunity to see what their employees do in these times, how they do it and why.”