Quail Creek Resident Receives ESGR Spirit of Volunteerism Award

John Chernoski (left) received the ESGR Spirit of Volunteerism Award from Darren Venters (right).

Peggy McGee

Commander John Chernoski, USN (Ret), a long-time resident of Quail Creek and member of the Green Valley Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Chapter, was the recipient of the 2023 National Spirit of Volunteerism award. John is retiring after 15 years of outstanding service as Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Chair of Arizona’s South Area. John was dual-hatted for many years as an ombudsman, military outreach, and employer outreach. He was a tireless ombudsman, seeking to improve the lives of service members and gaining the patriotic support of the employers.

In 2009 John became part of the Arizona ESGR Committee. He was assigned as an ombudsman and attended intense training for the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Act (USERRA). He embarked on his duties with enthusiasm and diligence. With his legal background, calm approach, and keen sense of issue recognition, he was often able to successfully mediate disputes between service members and employers concerning USERRA issues.

In 2010 John volunteered to fill a void and serve as an ESGR military outreach representative to various Army Reserve units in the Tucson area. He maintains important regular contact with these units, providing guidance to command personnel and individual soldiers about USERRA rights and responsibilities. He suggested effective ways to avoid potential problems from rising to the level of an actual incident.

John has prepared and given myriad USERRA presentations to various Guard and Reserve units and to civilian groups. Of note, John has made presentations to the active-duty JAGs at Davis-Monthan AFB and to the Pima County Bar Association. John combines an easing-going style with a firm knowledge base to provide an enjoyable and highly informative USERRA briefing. He traveled throughout Southern Arizona to make these presentations.

In 2013 he became the Southern Arizona Chair, leading other volunteers. Despite COVID, John was able to maintain enthusiasm for his team and, in fact, recruit new members during that time.

John has also been active in youth baseball, serving as an umpire. He has held many MOAA positions, including Green Valley Chapter President, New Jersey Chapter President, and member of the MOAA Board of Directors.

John has volunteered his time, money, and energy to support members of the Guard and Reserve. John embodies the MOAA motto: Never Stop Serving!