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Service obligation starts by telling employer

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- In any relationship, it's important to have open lines of communication. That's particularly true for Citizen Airmen when they deal with their civilian employers.

When you are going to be away from your civilian job for military service, you are required by law to notify your employer before starting your duty. Regardless of your duty status - inactive duty for training, annual tour, deployment, etc. - you need to tell your employer in advance.

Under the law, you have three ways to notify your civilian boss - verbally telling your employer, providing a written notice to your employer or asking your commander to write a letter to your employer.

Although the law does not stipulate any specific timeframe for giving notice, the Department of Defense strongly encourages you to advise your employer in writing at least 30 days before you start your training.

Additionally, Air Force Instruction 36-2254V1, Reserve Personnel Participation, requires you to request orders in AROWS-R 30 days before starting your training, if possible. This gives your employer time to make scheduling arrangements and other changes that may be needed during your absence.

Communication is essential to maintaining good relationships. Do the right thing and let your employer know in advance when you have to serve in uniform.

For more employer-related information, visit www.esgr.mil. The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve website hosts tons of information from nominating your employer for an award to resolving employer-related issues.

If you are having issues with your civilian employer due to your military service, either visit ESGR's website or call 1-800-336-4590.

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