AMGEN
BMS-center-logo
 

By Debbie Gregory.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, has selected 30 employers and government organizations from 2,350 nominations for 2018 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, commonly referred to as the “Freedom Award.”

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 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

ESGR organizes the annual award program. The award was instituted in 1996 by then Secretary of Defense William Perry, and has since presented the honor to hundreds of recipients.

ESGR received nominations for employers in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

Fifteen awards are presented in three categories – large (500 or more employees), small (fewer than 500 employees), and public sector.

Here are this year’s Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award finalists:

 

Amazon

AME Swiss Machining LLC

ArgenTech Solutions, Inc.

Barclays

Big Sky Advisors

Central Washington University

Crystal Group Inc.

CUNA Mutual Group

Duke Energy

Dunlap Police Department

Ecolab, Inc.

Ellsworth Correctional Facility.

FMI Corporation

Greencastle Associates Consulting Company

LG&E and KU Energy

Michigan Department of Corrections

Minnesota Department of Transportation

National Grid

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections

Prudential Financial Inc.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

South Charleston Police Department

State of Nevada

Stokes County Schools

Texas Department of Insurance

Werner Enterprises, Inc.

West Valley City

Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office

Worcester Police Department

In 2008, ESGR launched a web site for the Freedom Award. Using videos, news articles, profiles of recipients, and tips about employer best practices, the site provides information about the support that employers across the nation provide to their Guard and Reserve employees and their families. The site also houses the nomination form for the award.

ESGR

Debbie Gregory, the CEO of MilitaryConnection.com, founder of the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, and co-founder of Joining Forces California has been appointed by the California Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve Chair, BG (R) Jim Combs to the volunteer position of Director of Employer Outreach for California’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office.

The ESGR develops and promotes employer support for Guard and Reserve service by advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of applicable laws, and resolving conflict between employers and service members.

“Debbie’s passion to serve the needs of our troops and their families has resulted in success in virtually everything she touches,” said General Combs. “Her leadership with CA ESGR will enhance California’s partnership with the business community, which will result in a more capable military force here at home.”
Ms. Gregory’s new role will also enable her to facilitate signing ceremonies for companies wanting to sign a Statement of Support for their Guard and Reserve employees. The Statement of Support increases employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military. USERRA, The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 is a federal law and the law of the land. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.

Additionally, employers are eligible to be nominated by their employees who are Guard and Reserve for the prestigious Secretary of Defense, Freedom Award. Each year there are fifteen winners among employers of all sizes for their willingness to go above and beyond the law in providing their employees the support they need.

“Recognizing supportive employers is vital, not only to ESGR’s mission, but to the safety and security of our nation,” said Ms. Gregory. She added, “The brave men and women of the Guard and Reserve who don our country’s military uniform provide disaster relief here at home, and also serve around the world to protect the freedoms we hold dear.”

If your company is interested in joining thousands of employers by signing a Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve to display prominently for all your employees and visitors to see, please contact Debbie Gregory at debbieg(at)militaryconnection.com.

ibmpos_blurgb