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Immediate Release

Finalists for Department of Defense's Top Employer Award Named

March 17, 2016

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, has selected 30 employers as finalists for the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award (commonly referred to as the “Freedom Award”).

The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the DoD to employers for their support of National Guard and reserve members. On behalf of the secretary of defense, ESGR organizes the annual award program, which has presented the honor to 220 employers since 1996.  Each year, up to 15 awards are presented to employers in the three categories – large (500 or more employees), small (fewer than 500 employees), and public sector.

This year’s finalist group is comprised of 11 large employers, 10 small employers, and 9 public sector employers. 
"The 2016 Freedom Award finalists reflect the diversity in size and location of employers that provide outstanding support for Guard and reserve members," said ESGR Executive Director Alex Baird. "These 30 finalists span the diversity of America's workforce and prove every employer, whether large, small, public, or private, can go above and beyond for our citizen warriors."  

Almost half of the U.S. military is made up of National Guard and reserve members, many of whom also hold jobs with civilian employers. The Freedom Award recognizes those employers that provide the most outstanding support for these citizen warriors.  This year’s recipients will be honored at the Pentagon in an official ceremony in August.

ESGR received 2,424 nominations for employers in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.  This year’s Freedom Award recipients will be announced in late June. Updates, press releases and a complete list of the 2,424 nominees can be found at

For more information on the 2016 Freedom Award nominees, contact Maj. S.J. Brown at 571-372-0692 or by email at  For more information on ESGR, please visit