ARLINGTON, Va. – A Defense Department agency has opened its annual selection process for the nation’s employers that are the most supportive of employees who serve in the National Guard and reserves.
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, or ESGR, is accepting nominations for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the department’s highest award for civilian employers supporting Guard and reserve members.
Department officials encourage all Guard and reserve members to nominate employers who have provided exceptional support of their military service. Nominations may be submitted by service members, or a family member acting on their behalf, at www.FreedomAward.mil/ through Jan. 16.“Employers who go above and beyond in their support of Guard and reserve members are providing a tremendous service to our country,” David McGinnis, acting assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, said in a statement released today. They contribute to the resilience and peace of mind of the more than 1 million men and women who stand ready to serve when the nation calls on them, he added.
Guard and reserve members who feel their employers have gone the extra mile in supporting their military service should nominate them “to show their appreciation and highlight their support as an example for others to follow,” McGinnis said.
Previous award recipients were recognized for support such as organizing colleagues to provide dinners to a deployed employee’s family, covering extra shifts during an employee’s military training, taking a deployed service member’s children to sports practices and other events, and establishing robust military support networks.
The 2012 recipients are scheduled to be announced by early summer and to be honored during a ceremony in the nation’s capital early next fall.
ESGR began the Freedom Award in 1996, and since then, 160 employers have been honored with the award. ESGR was established in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and reserve service.