Officials Announce Semifinalists for Employer Support Awards
From an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve News Release
ARLINGTON, Va., April 23, 2013 Officials at Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Defense Department operational committee, announced today that 138 employers have been selected as semifinalists for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
The Freedom Award is DOD’s highest honor for employers that provide extraordinary support to their employers who serve in the National Guard and the reserves.
This year’s semifinalists stood out among 2,899 employers nominated by a Guard or Reserve employee, officials said.
More than a million Americans serve in the National Guard and reserves, playing a critical role in both combat and humanitarian missions, officials added, and the Freedom Award provides these service members with an opportunity to recognize civilian employers that go above and beyond in supporting their service.
Employers selected as semifinalists assist Guard and Reserve employees through formal and informal initiatives, such as setting veteran hiring goals, establishing military employee liaisons, providing child care for deployed employees, arranging care package drives, and granting additional leave for military employees and family members before and after deployments.
"Freedom Award semifinalists stand out for their extraordinary support and steadfast commitment to our nation's citizen-warriors," said ESGR Executive Director Ronald G. Young. "National Guard and Reserve members show tremendous resolve overseas and during times of domestic crises. Our nation owes a special debt of gratitude to employers enabling these brave men and women to serve."
ESGR officials will announce the 2013 Freedom Award finalists next month after a review board composed of military and civilian leaders selects the 30 most supportive employers. Up to 15 award recipients will be announced early this summer, and they’ll be honored in Washington, D.C., in September at the 18th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony.
A complete list of Freedom Award semifinalists from each state is available at 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, 175 employers have been honored with the award.
ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers.