Jeff Witt, director of the Student Recreation Center, never thought his support for his employees would be recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Award promotes cooperation and understanding between reserve members and their employers. It honors employers who go above and beyond in supporting members of the Reserve and National Guard.
“A military officer presented the award to me during a staff meeting, and I was pleasantly surprised,” Witt said.
“I’m very proud, but the award represents the entire department because we have all been very supportive of our military employees,” he said.
Gregory Diehl, a senior criminal justice major, Army National Guard member and Student Recreation Center employee, nominated Witt for the award.
“Over many years, I’ve had several absences from work due to military training, sometimes with very short notice. Jeff has always been patient and understanding,” Diehl said.
“When it came time for me to deploy in 2007, Jeff assured me I wouldn’t lose my job and even kept in contact with me while I was overseas,” Diehl said. “He helped me readjust after the time away and has always been supportive of my service.”
Witt feels it’s important that faculty support ROTC and National Guard students. “These students should have the opportunity to pick up where they left off at the University,” he said.
“We strive to be sensitive to the unique needs and stressors of our ROTC and National Guard employees. We are very supportive and accommodate them so they will succeed in their programs,” Witt said.