(Above) Juan Oleaga, (Below) Derek Roy

Boss Lift recognizes ITD's support of Idaho National Guard

It's not everyday that someone outside of the National Guard has the opportunity to ride in a Blackhawk helicopter or cruise in a Humvee. However, Idaho Transportation Department's Juan Oleaga, a manager in the project management office, did just that, thanks to his employee Derek Roy.

Roy, an IT project manager and Idaho Air National Guardsman nominated his supervisor to participate in the Boss Lift program at Gowen Field on Aug 1. Boss Lift provides a select group of supervisors and managers of reservists a chance to learn more about what their employees do when they report for National Guard duty. It is also a way of acknowledging the value of employers that hire guard members, including ITD.

Highlights for Oleaga include taking a 45-minute flight in a Blackhawk helicopter around the valley and visiting a bombing range in the Owyhee Desert. Additionally, time was also spent interacting with guard members who shared their expertise about tanks, airplanes, missiles and machine guns.

"The behind-the-scenes effort is incredible," Oleaga said. "The preparation that they go through is comprehensive and the speed and accuracy of communications is paramount."

Roy has been in the military for 15 years and with the Idaho Air National Guard for 11 years. In fact, he applied for his current job while on deployment in Afghanistan in 2013. Roy corresponded with Oleaga and ITD via email and upon his return back to the United States, was hired full-time by the department. He celebrates his one-year anniversary with ITD in September.

"Juan and ITD in general have gone above and beyond in their support of the Guard," Roy said.

Published 8-22-14