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National Guard and Reserve

Nearly 2,000 National Guard and Reserve members and families nominate supportive employers to date

ARLINGTON, Va. The beginning of the new year marks the final days for Guard and Reserve members and their families to nominate supportive employers for the 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. With nearly 2,000 nominations already submitted, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense agency, continues to encourage National Guard and Reserve members and their families to nominate employers who have gone above and beyond in their support of military employees. Nominations will be accepted at www.FreedomAward.milwww.FreedomAward.mil through January 18, 2010.

Currently, Army National Guard members lead the military service branches, accounting for 29 percent of nominations, followed closely by Army Reservists at 26 percent. The other service branches rank as follows: the U.S. Air Force Reserve with 16 percent; the U.S. Navy Reserve with 14 percent; the Air National Guard with 10 percent; the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve with 4 percent; and the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve with 1 percent.

The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. With almost one-half of the U.S. military comprised of the Guard and Reserve and the ongoing global operations, U.S. employers play an increasingly important role in their support for employees who serve in the military.

The fifteen 2010 recipients will be announced in the spring and honored in Washington, D.C. at the 15th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony on September 23, 2010. Recipients of the 2009 Freedom Award met privately with President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Dr. Jill Biden, Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Dennis McCarthy presented the awards at a ceremony attended by members of Congress, senior government and military leaders from all Guard and Reserve components.

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. ESGR is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972 to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law and resolving conflict through mediation.

For questions regarding the Freedom Award nomination process, please visit www.FreedomAward.mil or contact Maj. Melissa Phillips, ESGR Public Affairs, at 703-380-9262.

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