Department of Defense Announces 2020 Recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

WASHINGTON ­– The Department of Defense is pleased to announce the 15 recipients of the 2020 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest U.S. government honor to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

“I am proud to recognize these 15 outstanding civilian employers,” said Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper. “The citizen warriors of the National Guard and Reserve have evolved from a strategic reserve to become an integral component of the operational force. Having employers who support their military service is critical to their success and the success of our National Defense Strategy. We salute these exemplary employers for their steadfast commitment to their Guard and Reserve employees, their patriotism, and their contributions to the defense and security of our great Nation.”

The 2020 Freedom Award recipients will be recognized at the state level by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve State Chairs.


Employer City, State

Nominator’s Service, State

Accenture, LLP

New York, New York

Army Reserve, Texas

American Water Works Company, Inc.

Camden, New Jersey

Army Reserve, New Jersey

Battlefield Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Army National Guard, Nevada

CACI International Inc

Arlington, Virginia

Army Reserve, Colorado

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska

Army Reserve, Nebraska

City of Prescott Fire Department

Prescott, Arizona

Army National Guard, Arizona

Ecolab Inc.

St. Paul, Minnesota

Army National Guard, Minnesota

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.

McLean, Virginia

Army Reserve, Virginia

Lexmark International Inc.

Lexington, Kentucky

Army National Guard, South Carolina

Qualcomm Incorporated

San Diego, California

Navy Reserve, California

Sanford Health

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Army National Guard, South Dakota

Shell Oil Company

Houston, Texas

Marine Corps Reserve, Texas

The Independence Fund

Charlotte, North Carolina

Marine Corps Reserve, North Carolina

Veterans United Home Loans

Columbia, Missouri

Air National Guard, Missouri

Worcester Police Department

Worcester, Massachusetts

Air National Guard, Massachusetts

The 2020 recipients were selected from 2,623 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 295 honorees to date.

For more information about the Freedom Award, visit To learn more about ESGR, a program of the Defense Personnel and Family Support Center, visit

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.