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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — A federal group designed to help National Guard and Reserve members deal with their civilian employers has created a committee in Europe.

The Department of Defense Employers’ Support for the Guard and Reserve has set up the new committee to respond to the needs of roughly 2,000 guard and Reserve members working in Europe, said group director Bob Hollingsworth, a retired major general of the Marine Corps Reserve.

The new committee will join 54 ESGR committees in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The purpose of the committees is to help mediate between guard and Reserve troops and their employers if there is a conflict over the employee’s military service, Hollingsworth said.

The committees are made up of volunteers who are trained in the laws relating to Reserve military service. They do informal mediation. Any serious disputes must be handled through the U.S. Department of Labor.

“We want to help make the Guard and Reserve members feel like they don’t have to be afraid to tell their employers they are in the Reserves,” Hollingsworth said.

He was in Germany on Tuesday as part of the ESGR-sponsored tour that included NASCAR race drivers, teams and track owners.

The role of Reserve troops is growing as the U.S. military conducts its war against terrorism. Currently, 48 percent of the total military force is comprised of guard and Reserve members, Hollingsworth said.

More information about Employers’ Support for the Guard and Reserve is available on the Internet at: www.ESGR.org.

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