ESGR in the News



Nominees for 2018 Department of Defense’s TOP employer award Named

·         Nearly 2,000 employers nominated for top DoD award

·         Semifinalists announced March 7 (tentative) 

WASHINGTON ­– Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) program, announces that nearly 2,000 employers were nominated by more than 2,350 Guard and Reserve employees for the 2018 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, commonly referred to as the Freedom Award.

The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the DoD to employers for their 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 250 employers since 1996.

Almost half of the U.S. military is made up of National Guard and Reserve members, many of whom also hold jobs with civilian employers. The Freedom Award recognizes those employers who provide the most outstanding support for these citizen warriors. Up to 15 employers are selected each year for the award and honored at the Pentagon in an official ceremony in August. 

“These employers support America and their fellow citizens through their employment of our citizen warriors,” said ESGR National Chair Air Force retired Gen. Craig McKinley.  “Military service can often have unique challenges for both the service members and employers. These employers have all gone above and beyond showcasing that what they gain from employing a Guardsmen or Reservist far outweighs any other concerns.  The U.S. military doesn’t function without the Guard and Reserve, and our Guard and Reserve don’t function without these dedicated and motivated employers.”

Nominations for the Freedom Award must come from a Guard or Reserve member who is employed by the organization they are nominating, or from a family member. This year’s nominees (complete list available at represent large and small employers from almost every industry, including health, transportation, hospitality, entertainment, banking, service and security (just to name a few), as well as from state and local governments. ESGR received nominations for employers in all 50 states, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

Semifinalists and finalists will be announced in sequence throughout the coming months with the Freedom Award recipients announced in late June. Updates, press releases and a complete list of the nearly 2,000 nominees are at

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