2019 Freedom Award Recipients Announced

WASHINGTON ­– The Department of Defense announced the 15 recipients of the 2019 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest U.S. government honor to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.


“It is an honor to recognize these 15 exemplary civilian employers,” said Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. “The strength of our military and the success of our defense strategy depends on the readiness of our National Guard and Reserve members. These dedicated citizen warriors could not accomplish their missions without employers who understand and support their military service. We are grateful to these organizations for their role in keeping our nation safe and for setting the standard for all employers of Guard and Reserve members.”


The Freedom Award recipients below will be honored Aug. 23 at a Pentagon ceremony:


Employer Name

City, State

Archer Daniels Midland

Chicago, Illinois


New York, New York

Callison Tighe & Robinson, LLC

Columbia, South Carolina


San Ramon, California

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Lebanon, Tennessee

Delta Solutions & Strategies, LLC

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Direct Supply, Inc.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Eversource Energy

Harford, Connecticut and

Boston, Massachusetts

Houston Police Department

Houston, Texas

Kauai Auto Repair

Kalaheo, Hawaii

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

The Steel Network

Durham, North Carolina

West Valley City

West Valley City, Utah


The 2019 recipients were selected from 2,415 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists highlighting how their civilian employers went far beyond what the federal law requires to support them. The Freedom Award began in 1996 under the auspices of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize exceptional employer support, with 265 honorees to date.


For more information about the Freedom Award, visit www.FreedomAward.mil. To learn more about ESGR, part of the Defense Personnel and Family Support Center, visit www.ESGR.mil.


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.