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3M Company to Receive 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ARLINGTON, Va. –­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, announced 3M Company of St. Paul, Minnesota is one of 15 recipients of the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the DoD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. 3M Company stood out among a field of 4,049 nominations submitted by Guard and Reserve service members or their families.


Freedom Award recipients distinguish themselves by going to extraordinary lengths to support their military employees. 3M Company was nominated by an employee serving in the Army National Guard. The nominator highlighted 3M Company’s extensive family support, including painting the interior of a Gold Star mother’s home, hosting spouse coffees, organizing fishing trips for children of deployed service members and establishing an internal referral network for family services.


"To stand out among the many thousands of employers who firmly support our Citizen Warriors is a testament to the remarkable efforts of these 15 recipients," said Dennis McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. "On behalf of the Department of Defense, I congratulate the 2011 honorees and thank them for serving as outstanding partners in our nation's defense."


On behalf of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a selection board comprised of senior DoD officials, business leaders and prior awardees selected the 15 recipients. The 2011 honorees will be recognized in Washington, D.C. at the 16th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony on September 22, 2011. Since 1996, only 145 employers have been presented with the Freedom Award. Last year’s recipients met privately with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates prior to the ceremony. 


The 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients are:




3M Company 

St. Paul, Minn.  

Ameren Missouri

St. Louis, Mo.

Burt County Sheriff’s Office

Tekamah, Neb.

CSX Transportation

Jacksonville, Fla.

Electrical Contractors Inc.

Omaha, Neb.

Ford Motor Company

Dearborn, Mich.

Hanson Professional Services Inc.

Springfield, Ill.

Integrity Applications Incorporated

Chantilly, Va.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department

Santa Ana, Calif.

Principal Financial Group

Des Moines, Iowa

Qwest Communications, Denver, Colo.,

acquired by CenturyLink, Inc.

Monroe, La.

St. John’s Lutheran Church

Yankton, S.D.

State Employees’ Credit Union

Raleigh, N.C.

Town of Gilbert

Gilbert, Ariz.

Wells Fargo & Company

San Francisco, Calif.


About ESGR and the Freedom Award:

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR. ESGR was established in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. 


For questions or interviews 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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