An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

624 RSG thanks civilian supervisors for support of Pacific Warriors

  • Published
  • By Kelly Owens
  • 624th Regional Support Group

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Once a month, when Master Sgt. Miguel Manibusan closes out a UTA weekend with the 44th Aerial Port Squadron on a Sunday afternoon, he heads home, hangs up his OCPs, and trades them in for a different uniform: black pants and a black polo; the uniform he wears while serving with Andersen Air Force Base Fire and Emergency in Guam.

Manibusan, like many other Pacific Warriors in the 624 Regional Support Group, works a full-time job as a civilian. For Manibusan, that means serving as a firefighter on the same base where he drills with his fellow Airmen. And it’s a routine that Manibusan has followed for more than five years.

Balancing military and civilian occupations and activities is no small feat, yet the majority of the nearly 700 Airmen with the 624 Regional Support Group in Hawaii and Guam do just that. These members lean on the support of their families, communities and civilian employers to successfully meet their multitude of responsibilities, which often includes holding down a full-time civilian job and keeping up on their military training.

“Our Citizen Reserve Airmen have a unique set of challenges,” said Col. Joseph Orcutt, 624 RSG interim commander. “Not only are they working full time on their careers, balancing families and serving in their communities, they have a commitment to serve our nation, giving up one weekend a month and 15 days a year to stay ready to respond if called upon to do so. One of the things that makes this possible is the support of their civilian employers who work hard to ensure our members are able to get the training they need, as well as support if they do get called to deploy.”

So, recently, as a way to say “thank you” to a few of our members’ civilian employers, Orcutt visited with supervisors, beginning with Fire Chief Stanley Torres, Manibusan’s supervisor at Andersen Air Force Base Fire and Emergency. 

Following the June UTA in Guam, Orcutt made his way to the department where he was greeted by Torres, Manibusan and Joshua Hayworth, a Tech. Sgt. with the 624 RSG who trains in Hawaii and also works full time at the department. (In addition, four additional members of the 624 RSG were coincidentally training with Torres’ team.)

After shaking hands with each of them, Orcutt turned his attention to Torres.

“Our members can only do what they do for us because of employers and supervisors like you,” said Orcutt, who handed Torres a challenge coin out of appreciation. Orcutt and Torres went on to discuss the reciprocal value that reservists bring to the job and the job brings to reservists. They also discussed ideas for future and further collaboration between the reservist and civilian fire fighters.

After his visit with Torres, Orcutt traveled to United Airlines where another two members of the 44th APS work in a full-time capacity: Master Sgt. Buenvenido “Benny” Barcinas, who serves as manager of terminal ops and station operations center, and Tech. Sgt. Branden Aoki, who serves as a ramp service agent at United. There, Orcutt coined Barcinas’ and Aoki’s supervisors, Justin Marion, United Airlines general manager of airport operations on Guam, and Sam Shinohara, the managing director of airport operations for the Asia Pacific region.

Orcutt echoed the sentiments shared with Torres.

“Thank you for supporting our Airmen,” he said, “and for enabling and empowering them to serve as reservists. It’s only because of your support that we can meet mission requirements of readiness and we are grateful for letting us have these guys on the weekend to fulfill that job.”

Shinohara responded by paying compliments for Barcinas and Aoki, who have held positions with United for 20 and six years, respectively.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

After returning from Guam, Orcutt and 624 RSG Chief Master Sgt. Andrea Young were invited to participate in another employer-appreciation event, the presentation of Patriot Awards to three civilian employers of members with the 48th Aerial Port Squadron.

Tech. Sgt. Andrew Ching and Master Sgt. Mario Visitacion each nominated their supervisors to be recognized for the Patriot Award, one of several Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) awards that honors employers for their support of Guard and Reserve members. Both Ching and Visitacion are employed by Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility and nominated their supervisors to be honored with the award.

Ching nominated Sean Enomoto and Sal St. Germain for “their unwavering support and understanding of Ching’s military career.” Of St. Germain, Ching said, “He has assured me that my military service should not come in the way of my civilian career and even communicates with me when I am away on military duty.” Enomoto, according to Ching, has gone above and beyond to learn more about military members’ rights as a reservist and employers’ responsibilities.

Visitacion nominated Shad Matsumoto saying, “[Matsumoto] provided amazing support as a work leader [in my] transition back into military duty and transition back into civilian workforce.”

Enomoto, St. Germain and Matsumoto were honored during a presentation by ESGR in late June.

“Juggling a military career and a full-time career as a civilian is stressful,” said Young. “There are often competing requirements, and sometimes, the needs of the military means that our Reserve Citizen Airmen have to take some time off from work. And we recognize that can be a burden – to supervisors, colleagues and the organizations that employ our Airmen. So, we truly appreciate those employers who recognize and understand the unique needs of our Airmen, and go above and beyond to support them and their families, allowing them to fulfill their personal and professional goals and be the best versions of themselves.”

“Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is a large employer of military reserve component member employees and has historically shown their support for National Guardsmen and Reservists,” said Bridget Komine, ESGR volunteer, at the June awards presentation. “It is ESGR’s pleasure to recognize these supervisors and managers today for their support of their military service member employees by presenting them the Patriot Award.”

About the ESGR

A U.S. Department of Defense program that promotes cooperation between civilian employers and their National Guard and Reserve employees, the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR) was established in 1972. The organization educates service members and their civilian employers about rights and responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). In addition, ESGR provides opportunities for employers to be recognized for their support efforts. The organization also serves as a resource for employers and employees when Guard and Reserve employees are tapped for training, exercises and deployments. For more information, visit