Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, is seeking nominations of employers who support their military employers. Nominations for the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award are being accepted now through Jan. 21 at FreedomAward.mil.
National Guard and Reserve members and their families are eligible—and encouraged—to nominate their employers.
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. The award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
Almost one-half of the U.S. military is comprised of the National Guard and Reserve. The Department of Defense shares these citizen warriors with their civilian employers, many of whom provide significant support to their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
Past recipients of the award range from a small family-owned transportation business in Utah to large businesses, including Chrysler and Dominion Resources, to the City of Austin, Texas, a public sector employer. Past recipients have provided full salary, continuation of benefits, care packages and even family support to employees fulfilling their military obligation.
The 2009 recipients will be announced in the spring and honored on September 17, 2009, at the 14th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony in Washington, D.C. Recipients of the 2008 award met with President George W. Bush and Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, and received their awards from Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Dr. David Chu, at a ceremony attended by members of Congress and senior government and military officials.