DVIDS – News – Ministry of Defense announces recipients of 2021 Defense Secretary of Defense Employer Freedom Award


The Department of Defense is pleased to announce the 15 recipients of the 2021 Secretary of Defense Award for Freedom to Support Employers, the U.S. government’s highest honor bestowed on employers for supporting National Guard employees and of the Reserve.

Recipients include private and public sector employers, large and small, nominated by a National Guard or Reserve employee employed in their organization. Celebrating its 25th year, the Freedom Award began in 1996 under the auspices of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize exceptional employer support, with 310 recipients to date.

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

ESGR received 3,382 nominations for this prestigious award for employers in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. The recipients have distinguished themselves by going well beyond the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, or USERRA, to support their National Guard and Reserve employees. Many of them offered improved wages and benefits; flexible hours and generous leave policies; and support before and after deployment. In addition, they have implemented solid training to equip HR professionals and managers to support their organization’s military employees; stayed connected to deployed employees by sending care packages; and cared for the families of their employees during deployments by assisting with household repairs, including them in company functions, or providing financial assistance.

The 2021 Freedom Award recipients will be recognized at local ceremonies through the support of Guard Employers and Presidents of Reserve States.

The 2021 recipients are:

Associated Bank, Green Bay, Wisconsin (Army Reserve, Wisconsin)
Boyer Commercial Construction, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina (Marine Corps Reserve, New Jersey)
Cameron Glass, Inc., Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (Army National Guard, Oklahoma)
HCA Healthcare – Grand Strand Medical Center, Nashville, TN (Army Reserve, Florida)
INNIO Waukesha Gas Engines, Waukesha, Wisconsin (Coast Guard Reserve, Wisconsin)
JB Hunt Transport, Inc., Lowell, Arkansas (Air National Guard / Army National Guard, Arkansas)
Loftin Equipment Company, Phoenix, Arizona (Air National Guard, Arizona)
Marcus Construction, Willmar, Minnesota (Army National Guard, Minnesota)
Medtronic, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Military Reserve, Minnesota)
Nogales Police Department, Nogales, Arizona (Army National Guard, Arizona)
Phillips 66, Houston, Texas (Coast Guard Reserve, Texas)
Prudential Financial, Newark, New Jersey (Army Reserve, New Jersey)
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, College Station, Texas (Army National Guard, Texas)
Village of Pewaukee Police Department, Pewaukee, Wisconsin (Army National Guard, Wisconsin)
Yankton School District, Yankton, South Dakota (Army National Guard, South Dakota)

For more information on the Freedom Award, visit www.FreedomAward.mil. To learn more about ESGR, a program of the Defense Personnel and Family Support Office, visit www.ESGR.mil.

About ESGR

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

Date taken: 07.21.2021
Date posted: 23.07.2021 14:55
Story ID: 401632
Place: WASHINGTON, DC, United States
Hometown: COLLEGE STATION, Texas, United States
Hometown: COLOMBIA, South Carolina, United States
Hometown: HOUSTON, Texas, United States
Hometown: LOWELL, AR, United States
Hometown: MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, United States
Hometown: NASHVILLE, Tennessee, United States
Hometown: NEWARK, New Jersey, United States
Hometown: NOGALES, AZ, United States
Hometown: PEWAUKEE, WI, United States
Hometown: PHOENIX, AZ, United States
Hometown: WAUKESHA, WI, United States
Hometown: WILLMAR, Minnesota, United States
Hometown: YANKTON, SD, United States

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