LUKE AFB

A Taste of the Navy

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Looking down the pier next to the littoral combat ship USS Omaha (LCS 12), Vice Adm. Luke McCollum, Chief of Navy Reserve, faced a crowd of people not normally given access to Naval Station North Island's secure waterfront. "We want to give you some real hands-on experience of what your Navy Reserve Sailors do," McCollum started. "We are going to give you a taste of the Navy today."

His speech opened the 2018 Navy Employer Recognition Event in San Diego. Guests from across the country representing 36 companies and organizations gathered on the pier to learn about their employee's secondary lives as Navy Reserve Sailors.

Their taste of the Navy included a tour of the newly commissioned Omaha, a dynamic SEAL team demonstration and an opportunity to mingle with Reserve Sailors and learn about what their employees do while away from their civilian jobs on Reserve duty or deployment.

One of the guests, Justin Dodd, a representative from Procter and Gamble, says the NERE program gives employers an important understanding of what Reserve employees bring to the table.

"Employers are going to get much closer to understanding what the Reservists are doing on the weekend." Dodd said. "They're going to get a much better perspective for what leadership means in the military and what veterans bring back to the company."
Interacting with senior leadership was also an incredible opportunity according to Dodd. "Being able to talk with Vice Adm. McCollum and discussing challenges is helpful," he said. "It was incredible to get an understanding from leadership on what we can do, but also to communicate where we are coming from from an employer's perspective."

NERE guests are personally nominated by military members. The annual event allows Reserve members to recognize employers who exceed the government mandated support of the Reserve and allow their employees to easily manage Navy Reserve requirements.
Dodd says every Reserve Sailor should be nominating their employer. "All it's going to do is drive support," he said. "Any executive that goes to one of these events will come back wanting to hire more Reserve employees."

Does your employer help you succeed in both your civilian and military career? To nominate an employer for the next event, send an email to Lt. Cmdr. Matt McLaughlin at matthew.c.mclaughlin@navy.mil. Include your organization's name, mailing address, work contact information, personal contact information, approximate number of Reserve/ Guard members employed and a description of why your employer should be recognized.

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