ESGR Announces Army Reserve Nominations for 2014 Secretary of Defense
Employer Support Freedom Award
647 Army Reserve members nominate employers for highest honor
ARLINGTON, Va.– Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, received 647 nominations from members of the Army Reserve for the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. This represents a 32 percent increase in nominations from Army Reservists for the Freedom Award compared to last year. ESGR received 2,864 nominations from Guardsmen and Reservists nationwide. The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense’s highest recognition for employers providing exceptional support to employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve. Up to 15 award recipients will be announced this summer and honored at the Pentagon in September at the 19th annual Freedom Award ceremony.
Even with recent troop drawdowns, service members are frequently called to duty to protect our Nation’s security and support humanitarian relief missions. Service members rely on the support of civilian employers, who provide reassurance and stability for these Citizen Warriors and their loved ones. The Freedom Award honors those employers who not only safeguard the positions of their military employees while they perform military duty or are deployed, but establish exceptional and generous initiatives that accommodate and care for employees and their families.
"These employers exemplify the true spirit of patriotism," said ESGR National Chair Paul E. Mock. "By supporting their National Guard and Reserve employees, the 2014 Freedom Award nominees demonstrate what it means to serve our Nation’s Citizen Warriors."
Last year, recipients met with President Barack Obama, who praised them for the exceptional support provided to their Guard and Reserve employees. Recipients also met with senior Defense Department leaders as part of the award recognition.
Nomination season for the 2014 Freedom Award was held from November through January. This year’s nominees represent employers large and small from nearly every industry, including airlines, grocery store chains, national retail brands and IT companies, as well as small businesses, and state and local governments. ESGR received nominations from Guard and Reserve members in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. Semifinalists will be announced later this spring. To see the complete list of nominations, please visit www.FreedomAward.mil.
About ESGR and the Freedom Award:
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 190 employers have been honored with the award. ESGR develops and maintains employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.
For questions or interviews regarding the Freedom Award, please contact Beth Sherman, ESGR Public Affairs, by email at OSD.ESGR-PA@mail.mil or by phone at 571-372-0705.