National Guard, Reserve associates receive innovative support from Pioneer Services

Having worked with the military community for more than two decades, Pioneer Services has a unique insight into the lives of military families. This insight led to Pioneer Services being honored with a Department of Defense Freedom Award in 2005, and its continuing push to offer innovative benefits to its deployed Guard and Reserve team members.

Pioneer Services team members Gerald Henderson was stationed in Iraq for the past year, serving as a hospitality noncommissioned officer. Henderson was interviewed earlier this year by Senior Master Sgt. Darenda Rogers of the ESGR Forward Team and praised the company for all it has done during his deployment. When he returned to work Dec. 4, he had more good things to say about the support his family received.

"During my deployment, my family and I received a lot of support, like e-mails, phone calls, and care packages," said Henderson. "They gave my wife a webcam, and that was great—it really made things easier to see her face. I didn't have a lot of time, but every message and package I got was a huge lift. It means a lot to work for a company that cares so much."

Inc. magazine, in its September 2006, issue, spotlighted the company's unique benefits. It noted that the company pays the differential in salary for up to two years, as well as for Internet access and cell phones. The company also offers 40 hours of paid time off prior to deployment, and has created "Pioneer Partners," a group that offers support to employees whose spouses are deployed.

"We spoke to military spouses and former service members to find out what they required," said Tom Holcom, president. "The most important thing was taking care of our military associates, letting them know we were there for them, and doing everything we could to make the whole experience easier on the families left behind."