DoD Seeks Nominations for Employer Support Award
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2004 The Defense Department will begin accepting nominations Feb. 1 for the 2004 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, which recognizes significant contributions and sacrifices made by employers of National Guard and Reserve members.
For the first time since the awards program was established in 1996, nominations may be submitted by anyone who has knowledge of a company or organization deserving of the award. Previously, only National Guardsmen and Reservists could submit nominations.
The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recognizes employers who provide exceptional support to their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Defense Department photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
In addition, Defense officials expect to increase the number of awards presented previously five to as many as 15.
Bob Hollingsworth, executive director of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, said the awards program is particularly important now, because so many of America's employers are affected by the war on terror.
As of Jan. 27, 193,804 Guardsmen and Reservists were serving on active duty: 164,416 in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, 2,000 in the Naval Reserve, 19,757 in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 6,764 in the Marine Corps Reserve and 1,057 in the Coast Guard Reserve.
"An essential link has been formed, as many of America's employers have become inextricably linked to the nation's defense by sharing their most precious asset, their employees," Hollingsworth said.
Nominations will be accepted at the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Web site through March 15. Recipients will be recognized during Sept. 21 ceremonies in Washington.
Previous award recipients include Home Depot, Miller Brewing, American Airlines, American Express, Intel and UPS.