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ESGR in the News


HORSHAM, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced that Brion Insurance Agency is a state finalist for the Secretary of Defense Freedom Award. The finalists for this prestigious award include small business, large private business and public sector employers, that are nominated by a National Guard or Reserve employee in their organization. Award nominations are accepted from all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and District of Columbia.

The Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the Department of Defense to employers for their exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve members. On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, ESGR runs the annual award program, which has presented the honor to employers since 1996.

The Department of Defense will announce up to 15 employers selected to receive the 2024 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award by mid-June. The recipients will be honored in a ceremony at the Pentagon in August. Award nominations are evaluated and awarded points based on the answers a nominating service member provides to eight criteria:

1) Service Member Support while performing military duties,

2) Family Support during military duty,

3) Pay Compensation policies,

4) Benefit Compensation policies,

 5) Service Member Recognition,

6) Hiring Practice,

7) Uniform Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) awareness, and

8) previous ESGR Awards received.

Pennsylvania ESGR is particularly proud to forward Brion Insurance Agency’s nomination in the small business sector for their strong support of their employees serving in our nation’s Reserve forces. The Agency’s nomination was selected from the 25 service member submissions in the small business category.

Pennsylvania Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Esmeralda Nazario nominated the Brion Insurance Agency for the Freedom Award for their outstanding support of his military career. While Brion Insurance Agency obtained the highest possible ranking for all eight evaluation criteria, three noteworthy comments in Nazario’s nomination addressed Member Support, Family Support, Pay, and Benefits. Regarding service member support, Nazario stated: “Mr. Brion is very supportive of my military training and deployment. While overseas, he made sure I received a care package for all the major holidays and my birthday; and he kept in contact to see if me or may battle buddies needed supplies that weren’t easily accessible.” Nazario also indicated that Brion and his wife are always offering support to her family by look out for the wellbeing of her son and offering free babysitting services. The Brion Insurance Agency’s employee handbook includes a policy statement that service members will receive pay while attending military training and 10 days’ pay while deployed; the compensation package also includes bonuses.

Brion Insurance Agency’s nomination for the Freedom Award is highly endorsed by State ESGR Chair Marty Kuhar who stated: “Brion Insurance Agency demonstrates their strong support for citizen soldiers serving in the National Guard and Reserve forces. For a small business, the agency provides outstanding pay, benefits, and bonus compensation during military training and deployments.”

ESGR, a Department of Defense office, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.

For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 1-800-336-4590 or visit Information about the Freedom Award can be found at

Posted in: Pennsylvania
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