SecDef Employer Support Freedom Award recipients named

WASHINGTON ­– Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced today the 15 recipients of the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor the department gives to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.


“These 15 employers have distinguished themselves through their outstanding support of our Guard and Reserve members and their families," said Defense Secretary Ash Carter.  “Without the unfaltering support of employers like them, the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve would not be able to fulfill their vital roles in our National Security Strategy.  It is a great honor for me to recognize these employers, and I congratulate them on their receipt of the Employer Support Freedom Award.”


The 2016 Freedom Award recipients below will be honored at a ceremony in the Pentagon Aug. 26:




Nominator’s Branch of Service

Alaska Airlines

Anchorage, AK

Air Force Reserve

Albuquerque Police Department

Albuquerque, NM

Air National Guard

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

Springfield, MO

Navy Reserve

Burford Corporation

Maysville, OK

Army National Guard

Carolinas Healthcare System

Charlotte, NC

Air National Guard

Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office

Oregon City, OR

Army National Guard

Delmarva Veteran Builders

Salisbury, MD

Air Force Reserve

FASTSIGNS International, Inc.

Carrollton, TX

Air Force Reserve

Hope Valley Industries

North Kingstown, RI

Air National Guard

Idaho State Police

Meridian, ID

Army Reserve / Army National Guard


Mooresville, NC

Navy Reserve

Maryland State Police

Pikesville, MD

Army Reserve

Prairie Grove Consolidated School District 46

Crystal Lake, IL

Marine Corps Reserve

Seattle Fire Department

Seattle, WA

Navy Reserve

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Akron, OH

Navy Reserve


The 2016 recipients were selected from 2,424 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists.  The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 220 employers have been honored with the award.