ARLINGTON, Va. – This Veterans Day, members of the National Guard and Reserve and their families across the nation have the opportunity to nominate supportive employers for the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Nominations will be accepted at www.FreedomAward.mil through January 18, 2010. National Guard and Reserve members and their families are eligible and encouraged to nominate employers who have provided exceptional support of military employees above the federal law requirements.
Almost one-half of the U.S. military is comprised of the National Guard and Reserve. The Department of Defense shares these citizen warriors with their civilian employers, many of whom provide significant support to their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. 2009 honorees ranged from AeroDyn Wind Tunnel, LLC, a small automotive racing wind tunnel testing company in North Carolina to large businesses including Microsoft and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals to Santa Ana, California Police Department, a public sector employer. Past recipients of the Freedom Award have provided significant support including full salary, continuation of benefits, care packages and family assistance to employees fulfilling their military obligation.
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense Agency, to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. “There is much excitement surrounding the 15th anniversary of the Freedom Award,” noted acting ESGR Executive Director Ms. Polli Brunelli, “and we’re enthusiastic to begin selection of the 2010 recipients from amongst all of the heartfelt nominations that will be submitted by thousands of proud Citizen Warriors.”
ESGR was established in 1972. Its mission is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law and resolving conflicts through mediation.