Larson Manufacturing, UPD honored for support of Guard

Courtesy photos: Left: Michael Kilber, right, accepts a Patriot Award on Feb. 2. Pictured at left is Capt. Marc Rieger. Right: Bob Ullom, left, of Larson Manufacturing accepts a Patriot Award from Joshua Wagneron on Feb. 2.

BROOKINGS – South Dakota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, announced Bob Ullom with Larson Manufacturing in Brookings and Michael Kilber with the South Dakota State University Police Department have been honored with a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of their service member employees.

The Patriot Award, created by ESGR, publicly recognizes individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who, like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve. 

Ullom was nominated for being supportive of his employee, who serves in the South Dakota Army National Guard, Joshua Wagner

Kilber was nominated for being supportive of his employee, who serves in the South Dakota National Guard, Capt. Marc Rieger.

Wagner and Rieger said they nominated their employers for the award to thank them for their support of duties in the National Guard, including flexible schedules, time off for inspections and training time, and allowing the soldiers time to care for their military families, as well as their families at home. 

Ullom stated that the training that Wagner has received through the Guards has been a benefit to Larson Manufacturing.

Rieger states that the department is very supportive of his Guard duties. His training that he receives from the National Guard also benefits the University Police Department.

ESGR seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. 

ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. 

For more information about ESGR outreach programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call Capt. Chad Carlson at 605-737-6540 or visit


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