TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the nation's highest award for civilian employers that support their employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve. Nominations may be submitted by Guardsmen, Reservists, or family members acting on their behalf, at www.FreedomAward.mil through Jan. 21, 2013.
Nearly one million Americans serve in the Guard and Reserve, making up almost one-half of the nation's total military. For more than 10 years, these "Citizen Warriors" have responded to unprecedented national security demands and humanitarian missions spanning the globe. The civilian employers of Guardsmen and Reservists have shared in their service to our nation by standing firmly behind employees, providing essential support and greater peace of mind.
"Employers of every size and industry continue to go to extraordinary lengths to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to employees serving in the Guard and Reserve," said James G. Rebholz, national chair, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. "I urge all Guard and Reserve Service members who have benefited from their employer's support to nominate that employer for this most prestigious award. A Freedom Award nomination allows service members to acknowledge and thank their employer for the essential role they play in supporting their military career and in our nation's defense."
Each year, up to 15 of the nation's most supportive employers are selected as recipients and honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Past Freedom Award recipients' supportive measures have included arranging childcare services for deployed employees, sponsoring trips to visit injured employees, and working longer hours to cover the shifts of employees at military training.
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, 175 employers have been honored with the award. Established as a DoD agency 40 years ago, 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, at 571-372-0705 or by email at ESGR-PA@osd.mil.