From left are Officer Raymond Noriega, Chief Deputy Warden Belinda Hedrick, Sgt. Mark Barra and Mike Ellington, who presented the award.

From left are Officer Raymond Noriega, Chief Deputy Warden Belinda Hedrick, Sgt. Mark Barra and Mike Ellington, who presented the award.

By Lt. Everardo Silva, AA/Public Information Officer
Calipatria State Prison

Correctional Sgt. Mark Barra, with Calipatria State Prison, was recently honored with the Patriotic Employer Award.

The Department of Defense Office, represented by Mike Ellignton, Area Chair California, Naval Operation Support Center, presented the award to Sgt. Barra  for assisting CDCR in their continued support of staff who are members of the U.S. National Guard and Reserve.

The Award is earned by employees who distinguish themselves as a contributor to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force.

Sgt. Barra, as the Assignment Time Management Sergeant, has assisted Correctional Officer Raymond Noriega, who also serves in the National Guard Reserve, in continuing his service to the country.

“I nominated Sgt. Barra for the Patriotic Employer Award due to his diligence in assisting those in the National Guard like myself, to continue our service to our country by allowing us the flexibility to work and serve without the burden of stressing over how we can accomplish the two,” said Officer Noriega.

Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of employers have signed statements of support, pledging their support to Guard and Reserve employees, and added to that list was Calipatria State Prison Chief Deputy Warden Belinda Hedrick.

“Signing of the statement of support and pledging our support to Guard and Reserve employees gives us an opportunity to recognize and thank some of the men and women who work tirelessly each day to protect the public’s safety,” said CDW Hedrick. “I am very proud of the employees who pull double duty with the CDCR and the National Guard and Reserve.”

The first statement of support was signed Dec. 13, 1972, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense by the chairman of the board of General Motors.

President Richard Nixon was the first president to sign a statement of support and in 2008 every federal cabinet secretary and all federal agencies signed a statement of support.