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ESGR launches nomination season for 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency that promotes a culture in which all American employers support and value their employees’ military service, is now accepting nominations for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

Each year, ESGR honors 15 employers across the nation with the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to employers for providing exceptional support to their Guard and Reserve employees.

Last year, 181 large and small businesses as well as public sector employers from Florida were nominated for the Freedom Award and over the course of the Freedom Award’s rich history, Florida companies including United Parcel Service, Central Florida District and the first ever, two time winner CSX Transportation and have been honored with the Freedom Award.

The DoD encourages 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 through Jan. 16, 2012.

“Employers who go above and beyond in their support of Guard and Reserve members are providing a tremendous service to our country; they are contributing to the resiliency and peace of mind of the more than one million men and women who stand ready to serve when our nation’s calls on them,” said David McGinnis, acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. “Guard and Reserve members who feel their employers have gone the extra mile in supporting their military service should nominate them for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award to show their appreciation and highlight their support as an example for others to follow.”

With employer support acknowledged as a critical component of our national defense, ESGR enhanced the nomination website this year to help guide nominators in capturing the most important details of their employers’ support. Previous recipients garnered recognition for supportive measures including 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 family events, and establishing robust military support networks.

The 2012 recipients will be announced by early summer and honored in Washington, D.C. during a special ceremony early next fall.

For questions regarding the Freedom Award, please visit or contact Beth Sherman, ESGR Public Affairs, at 703-696-1171, ext. 539 or by email at

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