CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office, is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense's highest honor presented to civilian employers for exceptional support of their National Guard and Reserve employees.
"Our Colorado employers have shouldered the burden of supporting our Colorado National Guardsman and their spouses through quite a difficult year," said Command Sgt. Maj. Rob Lawrence, senior enlisted leader for the Colorado National Guard. "This summer alone, we've had Soldiers and Airmen return from an overseas deployment only to be thrown into the fires and floods. Their supportive employers should be commended and recognized – as well as every supportive Colorado employer should be recognized – for their outstanding support."
ESGR encourages Guard members and Reservists, or family members acting on their behalf, to submit nominations at www.FreedomAward.mil by Jan. 20, 2014.
"I believe that every Soldier and Airmen who enjoy the continued support from their employer, or from their spouse's employer, should take the few minutes to submit a thorough a meaningful nomination," said Lawrence. "Please take the few minutes needed to say 'thank you' and nominate your deserving employers. I'm happy to personally help any of our Warriors who may need or want assistance in formulating the nomination."
Guard and Reserve members comprise nearly one-half of the nation's military force, providing essential services to national security and humanitarian efforts at home and abroad. Supportive employers, with their enduring commitment, have helped keep our military strong and our Nation secure.
Each year, up to 15 deserving employers are selected as Freedom Award recipients and honored in Washington, D.C. Examples of past recipient support include continued benefits and healthcare for deployed service members, home maintenance and childcare support and veteran hiring initiatives. Service members who have received exemplary employer support should submit their nominations for the Freedom Award today.
About ESGR and the Freedom Award
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office established in 1972, develops and maintains employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers.
Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guard members and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, ESGR runs the annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award program. Created in 1996, the Freedom Award has been presented to 190 employers.
For questions or information on the Freedom Award, please contact Beth Sherman, ESGR Public Affairs, at 571-372-0705 or by email at OSD.ESGR-PA@mail.mil.