WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 —
Fifteen businesses and state and local government organizations have been chosen to receive the 2014 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, the highest honor the Defense Department gives to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.
"I'm honored to announce the recipients of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.
"Guardsmen and reservists across the nation rely on strong bonds with their civilian employers,” he added. “By recognizing these 15 exceptional employers, the Department of Defense celebrates the contributions made by American employers to our citizen-warriors. I commend these extraordinary employers for their unwavering commitment to service members and their families."
The 2014 Freedom Award recipients will be honored at a Sept. 26 ceremony in the Pentagon. They are:
-- Arizona Public Service, Phoenix, nominated by the Army Reserve;
-- AT&T, Dallas, nominated by the Coast Guard Reserve;
-- Capital One, McLean, Virginia, nominated by the Army National Guard;
-- CH2M-WG Idaho, Idaho Falls, Idaho, nominated by the Navy Reserve;
-- General Mills Inc., Golden Valley, Minnesota, nominated by the Army National Guard;
-- J.G. Management Systems Inc., Grand Junction, Colorado, nominated by the Air Force Reserve;
-- The Los Angeles Fire Department, nominated by the Navy Reserve;
-- New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Concord, New Hampshire, nominated by the Army National Guard;
-- PNC Bank, Pittsburgh, nominated by the Army National Guard;
-- Shofner Vision Center, Nashville, Tennessee, nominated by the Air Force Reserve;
-- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, nominated by the Army Reserve;
-- Triumph Pharmaceuticals Inc., St. Louis, nominated by the Army National Guard;
-- UNC Health Care, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, nominated by the Navy Reserve;
-- Washoe County School District, Reno, Nevada, nominated by the Air National Guard; and
-- Zions Bank, Salt Lake City, nominated by the Army National Guard.
The 2014 recipients were selected from 2,864 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists for going far beyond what the federal law requires to support their military employees, said officials from Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Defense Department office. Last year, they added, recipients met with President Barack Obama and senior Defense Department leaders as part of the award recognition.
For more information about the Freedom Award and this year’s recipients, visit http://www.FreedomAward.mil under the Media Tab in the Press Releases section.
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.