The Freedom Award is DOD's highest honor for employers that provide extraordinary support to their Guard and Reserve employees.
More than one million National Guard and Reserve members, who play critical roles in combat and humanitarian missions across the globe, rely on strong employer relationships such as those forged by the 162 semifinalists for this year's award.
The employers selected as semifinalists demonstrate their commitment to Guard and Reserve employees through formal initiatives such as setting veteran hiring goals and establishing military employee liaisons as well as informal activities like arranging care package drives and granting additional leave for military members to spend time with family.
"We honor employers who practice personnel policies that support employee participation in the National Guard and Reserve.
With so many supportive employers, we are making significant progress in the reduction of the unemployment rate of our Guard and Reserve members," said ESGR National Chair Paul Mock.
"We must remember that our force is comprised of all-volunteers. Enabling our Guard and Reserve members to know they have supportive employers is huge.
Thank you for your support and dedication to America's fight¬ing force and their families."
ESGR will announce the 2014 Freedom Award finalists after a review board comprised of military and civilian leaders selects the 30 most supportive employers this month.
Afterward, up to 15 award recipients will be announced in early summer and honored in Washington, D.C., in September at the 19th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony.
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 190 employers have been honored with the award.
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