Department of Defense Announces 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Finalists

WASHINGTON – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) proudly announces the 30 finalists for the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The finalists include small and large private and public sector employers nominated by a National Guard or Reserve Component employee employed in their organization. ESGR received 3,382 nominations for this prestigious award for employers throughout the 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and District of Columbia. 

“I am honored to congratulate these 30 outstanding employers, who have distinguished themselves in support of their Reserve Component employees,” said Ron Bogle, ESGR’s National Chair. “Employers play a critical role in the readiness and success of our National Guard and Reserve forces, and by valuing and supporting their employees’ military service, they are making a direct contribution to our Nation’s security.”

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. Celebrating its 25th year, the Freedom Award began in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional employer support, with only 295 honorees to date. For more information about the Freedom Award, visit

The Department of Defense will announce the 15 employers selected to receive the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in the summer of 2021. The recipients will be honored in local ceremonies by the ESGR Committee in their state.

Here are this year’s Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award finalists (Nominator's service and state are in parentheses):

  • Allison Transmission, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana (Army National Guard, Indiana)
  • Associated Bank, Green Bay, Wisconsin (Army Reserve, Wisconsin)
  • Boston Consulting Group, Boston, Massachusetts (Air National Guard, New Hampshire)
  • Boyer Commercial Construction, Columbia, South Carolina (Marine Corps Reserve, South Carolina)
  • Cameron Glass, Inc., Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (Army National Guard, Oklahoma)
  • CCI/Speer, Anoka, Minnesota (Navy Reserve, Idaho)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland, Ohio (Air National Guard, Ohio)
  • Drexel Hamilton, LLC, New York, New York (Air National Guard, New York)
  • Flying Tigers Flight School, Houston, Texas (Army Reserve, Texas)
  • Grand Strand Medical Center - HCA Healthcare, Nashville, TN (Army Reserve, Florida)
  • INNIO Waukesha Gas Engines, Waukesha, Wisconsin (Coast Guard Reserve, Wisconsin)
  • J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., Lowell, Arkansas (Air National Guard / Army National Guard, Arkansas)
  • League of Minnesota Cities, St. Paul, Minnesota (Army Reserve, Minnesota)
  • Loftin Equipment Company, Phoenix, Arizona (Air National Guard, Arizona)
  • ManifestWorks, Hollywood, California (Marine Corps Reserve, California)
  • Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Findlay, Ohio, (Navy Reserve, Alaska)
  • Marcus Construction, Wilmar, Minnesota (Army National Guard, Minnesota)
  • Medtronic, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Army Reserve, Minnesota)
  • New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell, New Mexico (Army Reserve, New Mexico)
  • Nogales Police Department, Nogales, Arizona (Army National Guard, Arizona)
  • Pewaukee Village Police Department, Pewaukee, Wisconsin (Army National Guard, Wisconsin)
  • Phillips 66, Houston, Texas (Coast Guard Reserve, Texas)
  • PLEXSYS Interface Products, Inc., Camas, Washington (Air National Guard, Oregon)
  • Prudential Financial, Newark, New Jersey (Army Reserve, New Jersey)
  • Springfield Fire Department, Springfield, Missouri (Navy Reserve, Missouri)
  • Storm Lake, Iowa Police Department, Storm Lake, Iowa (Air National Guard, Iowa)
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, College Station, Texas (Army National Guard, Texas)
  • Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Austin, Texas (Army National Guard, Texas)
  • Wright County Sheriff’s Office, Buffalo, Minnesota (Army Reserve, Minnesota)
  • Yankton School District, Yankton, South Dakota (Army National Guard, South Dakota)

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. To learn more about ESGR, visit