South Dakota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DOD) office, announced recently that Battalion Chiefs Steve Fessler and Mark Bukovich of Sioux Falls Fire Rescue were honored with a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of their employee serving in the S.D. Guard and Reserve.

The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who, like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve." - Ron Mielke, South Dakota.

Steve Fessler and Mark Bukovich were nominated for being highly supportive of the National Guard by their Reserve Component employee, SSgt Michael Bauers, ANG 114th MXG. Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.

Michael nominated Steve and Mark for this award to thank them for their support of his duties in the National Guard, including flexible schedules, time off for inspections and training time, and allowing him time to care for his family of soldiers as well as his own family at home.

Their support is invaluable and allows him to focus on his training while he is serving in the National Guard without worrying about how things are going back at work. It’s a lot to ask of an employer, and he is grateful that Steve and Mark, and SFFR, support him in this way.

source: City of Sioux Falls press release