Semifinalists Selected for Employer Support Awards
From an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve News Release
ARLINGTON, Va., April 26, 2011 Defense Department officials announced today that 148 employers have been selected as semifinalists for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
The Freedom Award is DOD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the National Guard and Reserves.
Nominations for the Freedom Award rose 64 percent over last year, officials said, and the semifinalists emerged from a pool of 4,049 employers nominated by the Guard and Reserve members they employ or their employees’ families.
Employers chosen as semifinalists support their Guard and Reserve employees through a variety of formal and informal initiatives, including providing the difference between military and civilian salary during deployments, continuation of full benefits, sending care packages and supporting the families of employees fulfilling military obligations, officials said.
“Our nation’s ability to rely on the Guard and Reserve through nearly 10 years of war and during historic natural disasters is made possible by the tremendous support of employers,” said James G. Rebholz, national chair for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a DOD committee that works with employers, reservists, military leadership and volunteer committees to build and maintain a base of support for the role of the National Guard and Reserve.
“The employers selected as semifinalists have distinguished themselves by going above and beyond what the law requires,” Rebholz added, “and I want to thank them for their critical support on behalf of our service members and our nation.”
A national review board will narrow the 148 semifinalists to 30 finalists for the Freedom Award. Then, a national selection board composed of senior defense officials, business leaders and prior awardees will select the 15 recipients for the 2011 Freedom Award. Officials are expected to announce the finalists in May and the award recipients in early summer.
The 2011 recipients will be honored Sept. 22 in Washington, D.C.