Department of Defense announces 2019 Employer Support Freedom Award Finalists

WASHINGTON ­– Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) proudly announces the 30 finalists for the 2019 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The finalists represent large and small employers, as well as public sector organizations. ESGR received 2,415 nominations for this prestigious award for employers throughout 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. 


The Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the Department of Defense to employers for their exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve members. On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, ESGR runs the annual award program, which has presented the honor to only 265 employers since 1996.


The 15 employers selected to receive the 2019 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award will be announced by mid-June.  


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


Employer Name

Employer City, State

Archer Daniels Midland

Chicago, Illinois


New York, New York

Battlefield Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Callison Tighe & Robinson, LLC

Columbia, South Carolina

Central Washington University

Ellensburg, Washington


San Ramon, California

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland, Ohio

Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores

Lebanon, Tennessee

Delta Solutions & Strategies, LLC

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Direct Supply, Inc.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Eversource Energy

Berlin, Connecticut

Houston Police Department

Houston, Texas

Kauai Auto Repair

Kalaheo, Hawaii

League of Minnesota Cities

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Levi Rodgers Real Estate Group @ RE/MAX Military City

San Antonio, Texas

LG&E and KU Energy, LLC

Louisville, Kentucky

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

Columbus, Ohio

Sanford Health

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sparta Police Department

Sparta, Wisconsin

State of Nevada

Carson City, Nevada

The Independence Fund

Charlotte, North Carolina

The Steel Network

Durham, North Carolina

Topeka Police Department

Topeka, Kansas

Travis Manion Foundation

Doylestown, Pennsylvania

University Health System

San Antonio, Texas

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Trustee

Columbus, Ohio

Village of Ladd

Ladd, Illinois

West Valley City

West Valley City, Utah

Worcester Police Department

Worcester, Massachusetts

Yankton School District 63-3

Yankton, South Dakota


The complete list is also at


About ESGR


ESGR is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for Service members in the Reserve Components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. It also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.