General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff met today with the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients. He thanked them for the exceptional support they provide their Guard and Reserve employees. The Freedom Award is the nation’s highest honor for employer support.
Government leaders, senior military officials and previous award recipients will attend the Freedom Award ceremony on September 20, 7:30 p.m., at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.
Only 160 employers have been presented the Freedom Award since its institution in 1996. Comprised of large, small and public sector employers, the 2012 recipients’ exceptional support stood out from the more than 3,200 nominations submitted by Guardsmen, Reservists, or family members acting on their behalf. This year’s honorees range from a law firm in the Midwest, to a small southern church, to some of the nation’s largest corporations in the banking, manufacturing and airline industries.
Nearly one-half of the total U.S. military strength resides in the Guard and Reserve. Since 2001, members of the Guard and Reserve have played a critical role in responding to historic national security demands and devastating natural disasters. The nation’s employers have demonstrated continued encouragement of their Guard and Reserve employees’ service. The Freedom Award recipients have even gone above and beyond what is expected of employers, helping to restore stability, predictability and peace of mind for those employees who stand ready to serve when their nation calls upon them.
Established as a DoD agency 40 years ago, ESGR 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 Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.