For the first time, three Wisconsin businesses are among the recipients of the 2021 Department of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The following is a news release from the DoD detailing honors for Associated Bank in Green Bay; INNIO Waukesha Gas Engines in Waukesha; and the Village of Pewaukee Police Department.
WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense is pleased to announce the 15 recipients of the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest U.S. government honor to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.
The recipients include small and large private and public sector employers nominated by a National Guard or Reserve Component employee employed in their organization. Celebrating its 25th year, the Freedom Award began in 1996 under the auspices of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize exceptional employer support, with 310 honorees to date.
“I am proud to salute the outstanding employers who have earned the distinction of being named Freedom Award recipients as we mark the 25th year of this highly coveted recognition,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III. “The men and women of the National Guard and Reserve make significant contributions to our communities and our national security through their civilian and military careers. We owe a debt of gratitude to these exemplary employers, who by valuing and supporting their employees’ military service, enhance the strength, readiness, and diversity of our National Guard and Reserve forces.”
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. The recipients distinguished themselves by going far beyond the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, or USERRA, to support their National Guard and Reserve employees. Many offered enhanced pay and benefit packages; flexible scheduling and generous leave policies; and pre- and post- deployment support. In addition, they implemented robust training to equip human resource professionals and managers to support their organization’s military serving employees; stayed connected to deployed employees by sending care packages; and took care of their employees’ families during deployments by assisting with household repairs, including them in company functions, or providing financial assistance.
The 2021 Freedom Award recipients will be recognized in local ceremonies by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve State Chairs.
The 2021 SecDef Employer Support Freedom Award Recipients
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Army Reserve, Wisconsin
Boyer Commercial Construction, Inc.
Columbia, South Carolina
Marine Corps Reserve, South Carolina
Cameron Glass, Inc.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Army National Guard, Oklahoma
Grand Strand Medical Center – HCA Healthcare
Army Reserve, Florida
INNIO Waukesha Gas Engines
Coast Guard Reserve, Wisconsin
J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.
Air National Guard, Arkansas
Army National Guard, Arkansas
Loftin Equipment Company
Air National Guard, Arizona
Army National Guard, Minnesota
Army Reserve, Minnesota
Nogales Police Department
Army National Guard, Arizona
Coast Guard Reserve, Texas
Newark, New Jersey
Army Reserve, New Jersey
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
College Station, Texas
Army National Guard, Texas
Village of Pewaukee Police Department
Army National Guard, Wisconsin
Yankton School District
Yankton, South Dakota
Army National Guard, South Dakota
For more information about the Freedom Award, visit www.FreedomAward.mil. To learn more about ESGR, a program of the Defense Personnel and Family Support Office, visit www.ESGR.mil.
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.