15 Reserve-component Employers Earn 2013 Freedom Awards
From an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve News Release
ARLINGTON, Va., Jun. 25, 2013 Fifteen employers of reserve-component service members in their civilian lives have earned the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for the support they provide to their employees who serve the nation in uniform.
The Freedom Award is the Defense Department’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees.
Officials at Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve -- a DOD office that advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers -- said the winners were chosen from 2,899 nominations received from Guardsmen and reservists.
"I commend and thank the 15 recipients of the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for providing exceptional support to our citizen-warriors," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said. "So many of our nation’s employers are finding ways to contribute to our nation’s security, but these employers stand out for their commitment to our Guardsmen and reservists. They have the gratitude and thanks of the entire Department of Defense.”
The 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients are:
-- Albuquerque Fire Department, Albuquerque, N.M.;
-- Bank of America, Charlotte, N.C.;
-- C.W. Driver, Pasadena, Calif.;
-- City of Columbus, Columbus, Ohio;
-- Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado Springs, Colo.;
-- DaVita Inc., Denver;
-- Eastman Chemical, Kingsport, Tenn.;
-- Family Allergy & Asthma, Louisville, Ky.;
-- Humana, Louisville, Ky.;
-- Pape-Dawson Engineers Inc., San Antonio;
-- Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Columbia, S.C.;
-- Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, Calif.;
-- Steel Plate Fabricators, Knoxville, Tenn.;
-- U.S. Bank, Minneapolis; and
-- U.S. Marshals Service, Washington, D.C. Freedom Award recipients stand out by going above and beyond what the federal law requires to support their military employees through both formal and informal initiatives, ESGR officials said. The 2013 recipients’ support includes forming an employee resource network for military employees and their families, providing additional paid military leave to Guard and Reserve employees, setting and surpassing employment goals for veterans and service members, and extending personal support to families, officials added.
Since 1996, 175 employers have received the Freedom Award. Previous awardees have met with the president, the vice president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The 2013 recipients will be honored Sept. 26 at the 18th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony in Washington, D.C.