FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
SHERIFF CABRAL RECOGNIZED WITH “ABOVE AND BEYOND” AWARD BY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral recently received the “Above and Beyond” Award from the United States Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve committee.
Presented to Sheriff Cabral by Gerard Hayes, Ombudsman for the Massachusetts Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), the Above and Beyond Award is given to employers “at the state and local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements for granting leave and providing support for military duty by their employees.”
Those requirements, as delineated under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), exist for employers with “persons who perform duty, voluntarily or involuntarily, in the ‘uniformed services,’ which include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Public Health Service commissioned corps, as well as the reserve components of each of these services. Federal training or service in the Army National Guard and Air National Guard also gives rise to rights under USERRA.”
As stated by the ESGR, the Above and Beyond Award is “one of highest honors that an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Field Office can bestow on an employer. It is recommended and given in limited numbers by The State Field Chair.”
Having already been a recipient of the ESGR’s “Patriotic Employer Award” in 2008 as a result of her work relating to the incorporation of returning service veterans to the Department, Sheriff Cabral was pleasantly surprised to learn of the additional recognition of her efforts.
“It’s unexpected, but I’m very happy to get this award because it acknowledges that we do a good job in the context of employment and helping returning servicemen and women to stay connected, making sure that their jobs are here when they return,” said Sheriff Cabral. “About a third of the people we hire are veterans from some branch of the armed services.”
“But, there’s a step beyond just reemployment – I’m very concerned about the numbers of people coming back and the problems that they present with that are unique to the conflict that they’ve served in. We’re focusing on the greater needs that they have when they come back. But, it’s really nice to get this acknowledgement that we’re on the right track and it inspires us to try and do a little bit more.”
Presenting the award to Sheriff Cabral on behalf of the ESGR, Hayes was emphatic in his praise of the efforts of Sheriff Cabral and the Department thus far.
“Following the presentation of the Patriotic Employer Award, which you received in 2008, the recommendations made for that award were entered into another evaluative system,” said Hayes. “To receive the Above and Beyond Award, you not only have to comply with the USERRA law, you have to go well beyond the law in terms of what you do here in the Department. This includes making employees feel comfortable to be in the military by keeping them connected when they’re away and staying in the military, and helping them in connecting with their families, which is almost as important as connecting with the individuals themselves.
“Sheriff Cabral and the Department have done a great job,” Hayes continued. “And so, here for you today is the Above and Beyond Award, which I am very happy as a member of the Department of Defense to present to you.”