Civilian employers get taste of military training

Rarely do bosses trade places with their employees. Scott Needham refueled an Air Force jet in a simulation.

On Friday morning at Fort Dix, Needham of Princeton Air Conditioning Co. was one of about 30 tristate business representatives who participated in the annual "Boss Lift" program. It is a two-day event where civilian employers can experience some of the training their employees who are in the military go through.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve coordinates the event. The Department of Defense created the ESGR in the 1970s so reservists who serve home and abroad know they will come back home to meaningful employment. It also gives employers another avenue to support the U.S. military.

Businessmen watched actual medics demonstrate the triage of a wounded soldier. While the "victim" is a practice dummy, the scenario was still impactful.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the jobless rate for American veterans is 4.6 percent. While it's on the decline, that's still a very troubling number for many. That makes the commitment from these employers to hold jobs for our service men and women even more honorable.