2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Recipients Announced

2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Recipients AnnouncedWASHINGTON - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) office, announced today 15 recipients of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor DoD gives to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

"I'm honored to announce the recipients of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award," said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. "Guardsmen and Reservists across the nation rely on strong bonds with their civilian employers. By recognizing these 15 exceptional employers, the Department of Defense celebrates the contributions made by American employers to our Citizen Warriors. I commend these extraordinary employers for their unwavering commitment to service members and their families."

The 2014 Freedom Award recipients below will be honored at a ceremony in the Pentagon Sept. 26:

Employer Location Nominator’s Branch
Arizona Public Service Phoenix, Arizona Army Reserve
AT&T Dallas, Texas Coast Guard Reserve
Capital One McLean, Virginia Army National Guard
CH2M-WG Idaho Idaho Falls, Idaho Navy Reserve
General Mills, Inc. Golden Valley, Minnesota Army National Guard
J.G. Management Systems, Inc. Grand Junction, Colorado Air Force Reserve
Los Angeles Fire Department Los Angeles, California Navy Reserve
N.H. Department of Environmental Services Concord, New Hampshire Army National Guard
PNC Bank Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Army National Guard
Shofner Vision Center Nashville, Tennessee Air Force Reserve
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Memphis, Tennessee Army Reserve
Triumph Pharmaceuticals Inc. St. Louis, Missouri Army National Guard
UNC Health Care Chapel Hill, North Carolina Navy Reserve
Washoe County School District Reno, Nevada Air National Guard
Zions Bank Salt Lake City, Utah Army National Guard

The 2014 recipients were selected from 2,864 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists for going far beyond what the federal law requires to support their military employees. Last year, recipients met with President Barack Obama and senior Defense Department leaders as part of the award recognition.

For more information about the Freedom Award and this year’s recipients, visit www.FreedomAward.mil under the Media Tab in the Press Releases section.

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 190 employers have been honored with the award. To learn more about ESGR, visit www.ESGR.mil

For questions or interviews regarding the Freedom Award, contact Beth Sherman, ESGR Public Affairs, at OSD.ESGR-PA@mail.mil or by phone at 571-372-0705.