Supervisor receives DoD award for support given to citizen soldier

By Amy T. Clement

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Defense Logistics Agency, Information Operations supervisor Audrey Jones, received the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriotic Employer Award Feb. 21 during a ceremony on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia.

One of her employees, Information Technology Specialist Monica Briscoe nominated Jones, who is both the Configuration Management Division chief and the Acting Serving Management Division chief in the Network and Telecommunications Services Branch of DLA Information Operations.

“She is so supportive when I have to drill or am called to serve or deploy,” said Briscoe, who is also a sergeant in the Virginia Army National Guard, Data Processing Unit, Fairfax, Virginia.

“Being in the guard, it can be hard to be pulled away from my civilian job. Audrey keeps the line of communications open while I’m gone to check on me and to make sure things are going well,” Briscoe said.  “It is a good feeling to know I have that support backing me up while I’m away from my civilian job. Knowing there is no fear in coming back to my job when I return and being able to pick up where I left off makes the transition back so much easier,” she said.

“In the past with other employers, it hasn’t always been the same when coming back from service and I wouldn’t get the ‘warm fuzzy’ feeling when I returned to work,” she said.  “I know Audrey supports my service to my country and she goes above and beyond to make sure I am supported pre-, during and post-deployment or other times I am out extended periods of time to serve.”

Briscoe said Jones also encourages all of her employees to constantly better their job skills and prepare themselves for promotions.  “She inspires us to pursue certifications and seek more knowledge through on the job training or educational opportunities so we are more marketable.  She tells us routinely she doesn’t expect us to stay in our positions long because she wants us to be able to get promoted,” she said.

“This DoD award formally recognizes the supportive employer/supervisor role in our nation's defense,” said retired Army Lt. Col. Bob Sempek, ESGR Central Virginia Region military outreach volunteer, who officiated the ceremony.

“I got teary eyed,” Jones said about receiving the award. “I cried knowing that she [Briscoe] thought that much of me as a person and as a supervisor. I’m going to miss her when she does this next deployment, but I encouraged her to take the deployment because I know it will be a great opportunity for her. The reality is that as a supervisor, it’s my job to prepare her for her next position and that’s what I feel like I’m doing,” she said.

“Working at DLA for the last 18 years, I can see where our contributions really do matter to the warfighters and the service members back at home training and getting ready to deploy,” said Jones.

The ESRG Patriot Award recognizes a supervisor of a member of the National Guard or reserves for their support of the service member or their family.  According to the ESRG website, “The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed."