910 AW PA, ESGR team up to present Patriot Award

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  • By Contributed Story/Mr. Jonathan Longwill, First Commonwealth Bank/Localized by Senior Master Sgt. Bob Barko Jr.

Representatives of the 910th Airlift Wing, based at nearby Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio,) and Ohio Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve presented a Patriot Award to First Commonwealth Bank’s Retail Executive Vice President Joe Culos at the bank’s corporate office in Wexford, March 31, 2021. According to the ESGR website, employees, who are also members of the Reserve Component of the U.S. Armed Forces, can nominate supervisors and bosses who provide support directly to the nominator for the Patriot Award.

Senior Airman Joshua Nies, a former community office manager for the bank, who was put on active orders in February of 2020, nominated Culos for the award. Nies nominated Culos because of the bank’s effort to continue his benefits and compensation package, as well as the assurance his position would be held for him upon his return from deployment. 

Nies, formerly assigned to the 910th Support Group also based at nearby YARS, Ohio, wasn’t able to attend the award presentation due to a military relocation out of state.

“It was an absolute pleasure working for a company that supported me,” said Nies in a written statement. “It’s one thing to have an employer that understands and stands by the military commitment, but to have an employer that went above and beyond to support my military career…I couldn’t be more thankful.”

Culos said even though the award was presented to him, the effort to support Nies was truly a team venture.

“From our human resources team, to fellow employees in the market who stepped up during Joshua’s active service, I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of the entire bank,” said Culos. “We were honored to make a small sacrifice, while Joshua made such a large sacrifice on behalf of our country.”

Members of the 910th’s Public Affairs Office, along with John Marino, Ohio ESGR area chair, made the short trip from YARS to Wexford to make the Patriot Award presentation on behalf of the wing’s former Reserve Citizen Airman.

“The 910th appreciates the efforts the bank made to go above and beyond for Senior Airman Nies during his deployment,” said Senior Master Sgt. Bob Barko Jr., 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Superintendent. “I am honored to step up and present this ESGR award on his behalf, and I highly encourage all of our Reserve Citizen Airmen to make the effort to nominate their employers for this award. After all, our team can’t achieve our mission without the community, especially the employers who make their own sacrifices to support their employees who are also are Air Force Reservists.”

Members of the Reserve Component of the U.S. Armed Forces can nominate their supervisor for the Patriot Award by using the following link: https://esgr.mil/Service-Members-Family/Nominate-your-Employer

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