As August approached last year, Mark Ballantyne found himself in a tough spot.
As a manager at Northrop Grumman, he was very busy. Not only was he preparing for a trade show in Australia—which meant working around a 14-hour time difference—he was also helping organize a separate companywide event at the same time. And that was just his day job.
Ballantyne was also called up for three weeks of active duty in the District of Columbia National Guard. One week would be spent at a training course at Camp Dawson in West Virginia and the other two at Fort Belvoir in Virginia, where he was to support the Defense Threat Reduction Agency on the U.S.-South Korea exercise, Ulchi Freedom Guardian.
Fortunately, Ballantyne’s boss, Stan Stigdon, stepped in and completed additional tasks, allowing Ballantyne to fulfill his service duties.
“Stan was great about it,” recalls Ballantyne, who served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now a captain in the Army National Guard. “He picked up the workload.”
Stigdon, says Ballantyne, has always gone out of his way to assure that he could meet his military obligations. “Stan emulates the culture that exists at Northrop Grumman to support veterans and citizen soldiers and all members of the armed forces.”
Northrop Grumman has an extensive history of employing veterans and people in the Reserves. Last fall, Chris Jones, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Technology Services signed a Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve at the company’s Veterans Day celebration. Approximately 20 percent of Northrop Grumman employees are veterans and the company employs more than 1,600 Reservists.
“We are very proud to support this program and the members of the Guard and Reserve,” said Jones. “As a veteran and former 14-year member of the Air National Guard, I understand the vital contribution those men and women make to our nation’s security. Northrop Grumman is devoted to supporting them.” In addition to the company’s Statement of Support, Stigdon and Northrop Grumman Mission Systems were recognized with two awards from Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, an office of the U.S. Defense Department, for their support of employees who must fulfill military commitments.
Thanks to commitment such as Stigdon’s and Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, the company was recognized for its support of military employment. The awards were presented at Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems in Linthicum, Maryland by Jean Hulet, the Maryland ESGR chair. Hulet praised the company for its “can-do-attitude” toward those who serve in the military. Stigdon received the Patriot Award and the company received the Above and Beyond Award. These awards recognize employers that support the Reserves through flexible schedules and non-mandated and extended health benefits. Steve Goldfein, vice president, business development, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, accepted the Above and Beyond Award on behalf of Northrop Grumman.
a standard-bearer regarding its generous military leave and special compensation programs that support employees like Mark Ballantyne
In a written statement, Col. Kenneth Ryan, commander, Mobilization Augmentation Command, District of Columbia Army National Guard, called Northrop Grumman “a standard-bearer regarding its generous military leave and special compensation programs that support employees like Mark Ballantyne.”
Ballantyne, at the awards ceremony, said that the company and its employees reflect the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage in their dealings with the military.
Although he was honored by the award, Stigdon said that support for the military is just part of the normal course of business at Northrop Grumman. “The peace we have every day is only possible because of the service of our armed forces, including the Guard and Reserve,” he added.