Callison Tighe honored for extraordinary support of National Guard and Reserves

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Callison Tighe has received an award of recognition for the law firm’s extraordinary support as an employer of the South Carolina National Guard and military Reserves.

Moreover, Callison Tighe has been named as one of 30 finalists nationally, out of  2,415 nominations, for the 2019 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. It is the highest recognition given by the Department of Defense to employers for their exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve members. It has been given to only 265 employers since 1996.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, presented its Pro Patria Award – its highest recognition presented on the state level – to Callison Tighe Member Mike Tighe and Rick Detwiler at an awards luncheon on March 19.

The award is presented annually by each ESGR State Committee to one small, one large, and one public sector employer in their state or territory. Recipients have demonstrated the greatest support to Guard and Reserve employees through their leadership and practices, including adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the National Guard and Reserve.

Callison Tighe had already received, on March 11, the organization’s Above and Beyond Award, which made the firm eligible for the Pro Patria Award.

The firm was nominated for the awards by Ian T. Duggan, a Callison Tighe attorney who is a major in the Air Force Reserve and was recently selected for a position as a judge advocate with the South Carolina Air National Guard.

“One of the things that attracted me to Callison Tighe as I was preparing for my separation from active duty was how highly the partners at Callison Tighe valued my military experience,” Duggan said. “It was never a question when I became a part of Callison Tighe that my military service was respected.”

Despite the hardship that the absence of even one attorney can cause a small firm, Callison Tighe was more than supportive of Duggan’s absences for military duties, even when on short notice. Duggan explained that “while the firm’s practical policies respecting guard and reserve service are important, just as significant to my experience has been that other employees, from managing partners to legal assistants, regularly check in on my wife and young son while I am out of the office, for sometimes weeks at a time, on military orders. It is a small, but touching, showing of affection that makes all the difference.”

ESGR officials said they were deeply impressed by Callison Tighe’s commitment to military service.

As for the national award, the 15 employers selected to receive the 2019 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award will be announced by mid-June. 

“We are very proud of this award, and even prouder of Ian’s service, and that of the others in our firm who have served our country in uniform,” said Detwiler. That includes the following:

  • Ralph “Robbie” Robinson – U.S. Air Force, 1958-63
  • Mike Tighe – U.S. Air Force, 1965-69
  • David Ewing – U.S. Navy, 1968-71
  • Billie Green – U.S. Army, 1978-84
  • Louis Lang – U.S. Navy, 1982-86; reserves, 1987-2005
  • George Taylor – U.S. Air Force, 2004-08
  • Ian Duggan – U.S. Air Force, 2011-17; reserves/ANG, 2017 – Present