DOD Seeks Guard, Reserve ‘Freedom Award’ Nominations

  • Published
  • By American Forces Press Service
Defense officials want reservists, Guard members and their family members to know that civilian employer nominations can now be submitted for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award through Jan. 21, 2013.

The Freedom Award is DOD's highest recognition for civilian employers, presented in honor of the support they provide their employees who serve in the National Guard and reserve.

"Employers of every size and industry continue to go to extraordinary lengths to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to employees serving in the Guard and reserve," said James G. Rebholz, national chair of DOD's Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

"I urge all Guard and reserve service members who have benefited from their employer's support to nominate that employer for this most prestigious award," he said. "A Freedom Award nomination allows service members to acknowledge and thank their employer for the essential role they play in supporting their military career and in our nation's defense."

Nearly one million Americans serve in the Guard and reserve, comprising about half of the nation's total military, ESGR officials said.

For more than 10 years, such "citizen-warriors" have responded to "unprecedented national security demands and humanitarian missions spanning the globe," ESGR officials said, adding that the civilian employers of Guardsmen and reservists have shared in their service to the nation by standing behind employees and providing essential support and peace of mind during deployment.

Up to 15 of the nation's most-supportive employers are selected every year as recipients of the Freedom Award, and are also honored at the ESGR's annual ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Past Freedom Award employer recipients have provided such extra-step support measures as arranging child care services for deployed employees, sponsoring trips to visit injured employees, and working longer hours to cover the shifts of employees who are in military training.

The Freedom Award was established in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community, the officials said.

In the years since, 175 employers have been honored with the award.

Established as a DOD agency 40 years ago, ESGR develops and maintains employer support for members of the Guard and reserve.

ESGR also 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.

Related Sites:
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Nominations