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ESGR in the News


WASHINGTON ­– The Department of Defense honored the recipients of the 2023 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest U.S. government honor to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve, in a formal ceremony at the Pentagon Aug. 30.

The 15 recipients include small and large private and public sector employers nominated by a National Guard or Reserve Component Service member employed in their organization. Celebrating its 27th year, the Freedom Award began in 1996 under the auspices of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize exceptional employer support, with 340 honorees to date.

The ceremony was hosted by ESGR’s Executive Director, U.S. Navy Capt. Jonathan Townsend and ESGR National Chair Ron Bogle.

The Honorable Gilbert R. Cisneros, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness delivered remarks and presented the award to each of the recipients.

“Through the efforts of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, or ESGR, a Department of Defense office that encourages American businesses and employers to strengthen their support for their Guard and Reserve employees, these employers have been selected from 1,863 nominations received this year,” said Cisneros. “These employers, which are businesses both large and small in the private sector and public service organizations, have risen above the field to demonstrate their support for their Guard and Reserve employees. We truly have an amazing cross section of America employers here with us today. They represent many industries, from trucking and transportation to banking and finance. From energy production, manufacturing, law enforcement, firefighting to water and sewage treatment. We truly have an amazing cross-section of American employers here with us today.”

The 2023 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Recipients                      

  • American Bureau of Shipping, Spring, Texas (Army National Guard, Texas)
  • CAM Superline, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania (Army National Guard, Pennsylvania)
  • Consumers Energy, Jackson, Michigan, (Air National Guard, Michigan)
  • E.L. Hollingworth and Co.   Flint, Michigan (Army National Guard, Michigan)
  • East Bay Municipal Utility District, Oakland, California (Navy Reserve, California)
  • Exigo Corporation, Colorado Springs, Colorado (Air Force Reserve, Colorado)
  • Fiserv, Inc., Brookfield, Wisconsin (Air National Guard, Wisconsin)
  • Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Office, Houston, Texas (Army Reserve, Texas)
  • Hickory Police Department Hickory, North Carolina (Army Reserve, North Carolina)
  • King County, Seattle, Washington (Coast Guard Reserve, Washington)
  • Knox County Public Schools, Knoxville, Tennessee (Army National Guard, Tennessee)
  • Mechanical Resource Group, Nashville, Tennessee (Army National Guard, Tennessee)
  • Ryzhka International, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Army National Guard, Florida)
  • UBS Financial Services, Inc. Weehawken, New Jersey (Navy Reserve, New Jersey)
  • USA Truck, Van Buren, Arkansas (Army National Guard, Arkansas)

For more information about the Freedom Award, visit To learn more about ESGR visit

Photos from the event can be found at:




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