Freedom Award Recognizes Guard, Reserve Supporters
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2012 Reserve component members still have time to nominate their civilian employers for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, officials from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a DOD agency, said today.
Nominations for the award are due by Jan. 21, 2013. The award is the highest honor the Defense Department grants to civilian employers.
ESGR's central mission is to encourage employment of Guardsmen and reservists, who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.
The award recognizes employers that go to extraordinary lengths to support their employees’ service in the reserve components and enables Guardsmen and reservists to show their appreciation for their employers’ support, according to ESGR officials.
The nomination process does not take long to complete, officials said, and family members can submit nominations on behalf of a Guardsman or reservist. Employers of every size and industry are eligible. ESGR is accepting nominations online at www.FreedomAward.mil.
So far, 1,454 nominations have been submitted, just halfway through the nomination timeframe.
"Guard and Reserve members understand better than anyone how critical America's employers are to our national security, which is why we look to them to tell us which employers deserve this distinguished honor," said Ron Young, ESGR’s executive director.
"We call on all Guardsmen and reservists who have received outstanding support from their employer to nominate them for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. There really is no better way to thank these employers for standing firmly behind our military men and women," he added.
The 2013 recipients will be announced in early summer and honored in a ceremony here next fall. Recipients of the 2012 Freedom Award included such diverse employers as a telecommunications company, a department of public safety, a Midwestern law firm and a small-town church.
The Freedom Award recognizes exceptional support from the employer community, said ESGR officials said. Officials noted that 175 employers have received the award since it was established in 1996.
ESGR develops and maintains employer support for Guard and reserve service, advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws and resolves conflict between service members and employers.