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Charleston Reservist surprises employer with Patriot Award

  • Published
  • By Michael Dukes
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office

A Reservist here surprised his civilian workplace supervisor with an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award Dec. 2.

Staff Sgt. Charles Cantrell, 81st Aerial Port Squadron, is a system administrator at Science Applications International Corporation’s North Charleston location. He nominated his supervisor Steven Haas, because he's always been supportive and "for allowing me to go on [annual tour] and orders. You never ask why. You're just always supportive."

Haas, said he was very surprised when Col. Cherie Roff, 315th Mission Support commander, showed up to present the award. “I really appreciate that. You really surprised me.”

Haas said that a bulk of the SAIC employees were Guard, Reserve or veterans.

“We really appreciate the support employers and supervisors give to our Reservists,” said Roff as she presented the award to Haas in front of the U.S., POW and military flags in the company’s lobby.

David Greenburg, vice president of operations, and Robert Carruthers, vice president of hardware integration and logistics joined the impromptu informal ceremony. 

Carruthers knows firsthand about ESGR he is also commander of the 59th Troop Command in the South Carolina National Guard. He and Roff shared stories about their service in Afghanistan.

About the Patriot Award

An employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve, or the spouse of a Guard or Reserve member, may nominate individual supervisors and bosses for support provided directly to the nominating Service member and his or her family.  The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support Citizen Warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.

Patriot Awards are awarded to individual supervisors, not to an entire staff or organization as a whole.  You may nominate as many supervisors as you would like and each will receive a Patriot Award certificate (framed or unframed) and accompanying lapel pin.  You may request a Patriot award be sent to either your home address or to the ESGR State Committee in your supervisor's state, which can help you arrange the presentation of the award to your supervisor.   While some Reservists and Guardsmen may have an opportunity to nominate their supervisor at an ESGR briefing, the best way to nominate is online.  The average turnaround time for the Patriot Award to reach the address provided is 45 days from the date of submission.

You can nominate your employer by visiting the ESGR’s online submission page here: