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ESGR in the News


WASHINGTON ­– Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III named Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) one of the 15 recipients of the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, in recognition of the organization’s exemplary support for its National Guard and Reserve employees.   

“I am proud to salute the outstanding employers who have earned the distinction of being named Freedom Award recipients as we mark the 25th year of this highly coveted recognition,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III.  “The men and women of the National Guard and Reserve make significant contributions to our communities and our national security through their civilian and military careers.  We owe a debt of gratitude to these exemplary employers, who by valuing and supporting their employees’ military service, enhance the strength, readiness, and diversity of our National Guard and Reserve forces.”

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service along with 14 other recipients were selected from 3,382 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists highlighting how their civilian employers went far beyond what the federal law requires to support them. Celebrating its 25th year, the Freedom Award began in 1996 under the auspices of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize exceptional employer support, with 310 honorees to date.

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service shows extensive support to its military employees by continuing benefits, without limits, during deployments. Texas A&M Engineering’s human resources team is readily available to deployed service member families to resolve benefits issues.

“My employer, the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), provides wonderful support that makes it possible for National Guard and Reserve service members to continue to serve our country,” said Army National Guard Lt. Col. Andrew Wenzel. “TEEX is an organization of service and encourages employees to make a difference by giving back to communities, the state, and to the nation.”

“TEEX recognizes the value that the veteran workforce brings to this country and to our agency,” said David Coatney, Agency Director. “The skills of leadership, teamwork, and dedication, which are common among our military personnel, are readily transferable from the military to civilian employment. TEEX trains over 200,000 people per year in various public safety, public service, and workforce development skills.”

David Blackorby, Chair of the Texas ESGR State Committee will present the award to Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.

For more information about the Freedom Award and this year’s Freedom Award recipients, visit To learn more about ESGR, visit

About ESGR

ESGR is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for Service members in the Reserve Components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. It also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.


Posted in: Texas
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