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USM Veterans Center Official Recognized by Office of Secretary of Defense

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 09:06am | By: Van Arnold

David Magola, Veterans Administration Senior Certifying Official at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families, has been recognized by the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a “Patriotic Employee” for his support of National Guard and Reserve Component student-veterans.

Magola was formally recognized by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Award Program for his caring efforts in “contributing to national security and protecting liberty, and freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and reserve forces.”

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Program was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers.

The program has served in the U.S. for more than 45-years, fostering a culture in which employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve. The ESGR recognizes deserving employers whose support and good will are important to retaining highly skilled and qualified members of the Guard and Reserve.

“David Magola is an amazing individual who has been a part of the USM Veterans Center since inception more than five years ago. He continues to amaze me with a remarkable energy level to do whatever is necessary to assist USM student-veterans and their families,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond (U.S. Army, ret.), who serves as director of USM’s Veterans Center. “The Department of Defense recognition of his tremendous efforts to support our recently deployed Mississippi National Guard service members is of no surprise to me.”

In his role at the Veterans Center, Magola has been instrumental in supporting students who recently completed a 12-month deployment to Kuwait. According to Hammond, Magola worked tirelessly over the last 12 months during the recent Mississippi National Guard troop deployment to Kuwait ensuring that deployed service members “had a home at USM where the doors would always be open and welcoming.”

Magola gets high marks from USM student and recently deployed Mississippi Army National Guard service member Cory Parker.

“Prior to my recent deployment to Kuwait with the Army National Guard, I was concerned that upon return I might not have a job and my re-enrollment back to USM might be problematic,” said Parker. “In both cases, it was David Magola who not only gave me his word all things would work out to my favor, but more importantly, he delivered. I am thankful that we have fine leaders such as him and the others in our campus Veterans Center helping our USM military students.”

As noted by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve leadership, “these citizen warriors could not protect our precious freedoms us at home and abroad without the continued promise of meaningful civilian employment for themselves and their families. ESGR has continued to adapt to meet the needs of reserve component members, their families, and America’s employers by joining forces with a network of other national, state, and local government and professional trade organizations.”

The USM Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families provides full-spectrum support to student-veterans at both our Hattiesburg and Long Beach campus.  A full-time Veteran Services Officer is also located on our Long Beach campus located in Hardy Hall. To learn more about the center, call 601-264-4629 or visit: