Ballard honored

Pictured from left to right, LTC Isaac Shields, Battalion Commander, Oklahoma Army National Guard and Chief of Criminal Division; Raymond Knapp, Chair of the Oklahoma Committee, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve; Matthew Ballard, District Attorney, District 12.

Matthew Ballard, Oklahoma District Attorney for District 12, received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award recently for the extraordinary support he provides his employees, including Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Shields, Commander of the 1st Battalion 279th Infantry, Oklahoma Army National Guard.

“The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Raymond Knapp, Oklahoma Committee Chair. “Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.”

“National Guard and Reserve members bring tremendous skills and capabilities to our workforce, and employer support for their military service is critical to maintaining the strength of our Guard and Reserve units,” said Knapp. “By valuing the military service of their Guard and Reserve employees, employers are directly supporting the readiness and retention of our All-Volunteer Force, and our national defense.”

“Supporting our Guard and Reserve members is not only a legal duty, it’s a moral obligation for all Americans. I’m proud of all my employees who have stepped up to support our service members, who are themselves serving our country,” said Matt Ballard.

ESGR is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the National Guard and Reserve through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. ESGR also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.

For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

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