Basin Electric receives distinguished Dept. of Defense award for military-employee support

Fewer than 75 organizations in the U.S. have received the Extraordinary Employer Support Award.
Basin Electric CEO Paul Sukut with ESGR and National Guard representatives
(From left) Kevin Iverson, North Dakota ESGR Employer Outreach Director; Paul Sukut, Basin Electric CEO and general manager; Robert "Bob" Wefald, North Dakota ESGR State Chair; and Major General Al Dohrmann, Adjutant General, North Dakota National Guard.

Basin Electric received a distinguished U.S. Dept. of Defense award April 12, recognizing the cooperative for its strong support of its military employees. Fewer than 75 organizations across the U.S. have received this recognition.

The Extraordinary Employer Support Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) was presented to Basin Electric CEO and General Manager Paul Sukut, and its board.

“We are thrilled to receive this outstanding award,” Sukut said. “To be among a small number of employers receiving the ESGR Extraordinary Employer Support award is truly a humbling honor.”

ESGR’s Extraordinary Employer Support Award was created in 2012 to recognize sustained employer support of National Guard and Reserve service.

According to Kevin Iverson, Employer Outreach Director for ESGR of North Dakota, fewer than 75 organizations across the country have been presented this award by the Department of Defense.

“Only those employers who have demonstrated continuous, exceptional support of their military service employees can be considered for this award,” Iverson said. “Basin Electric demonstrates that patriotism is ingrained in its organizational culture on a level that is truly extraordinary through the way it treats its members of the National Guard and reserves.”

Only prior recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award or the Pro Patria Award, who have demonstrated sustained support for three years after receiving one of those awards, are eligible for consideration at the committee level. Subsequent awards may be given in three-year increments from the initial award.

Basin Electric received the Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in 2012.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative and its subsidiaries have a longstanding commitment to supporting its employees who are on active duty and also those employees who may have an immediate family member on active duty who has sustained an injury while on duty or are recovering from a serious illness.

When employees are called to active service, Basin Electric provides them with technology so they can communicate with their families and coworkers, and pays the difference between their salary at Basin Electric and their military pay. The cooperative also offers an “open door” for family members to raise any concerns that develop while their loved one is deployed. Last year, Basin Electric also made the decision to provide military time off for temporary employees serving, and added time off for military members to be part of honor guards.

About ESGR
ESGR, a Department of Defense program, was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. ESGR is supported by a network of more than 4,500 volunteers in 54 committees located across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam-CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Volunteers, hailing from small business and industry, government, education, and prior military service bring a vast wealth of experience to assist in serving employers, Service members, and their families. Together with Headquarters ESGR staff and a small cadre of support staff for each State Committee, volunteers work to promote and enhance employer support for military service in the Guard and Reserve.

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