Press Releases




recipients of secretary of defense employer support freedom award named

15 Exceptional Employers Recognized for Top Honor


WASHINGTON ­– The Department of Defense announced today the 15 recipients of the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor the department gives to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.


 “These 15 employers have distinguished themselves through their outstanding support of our Guard and Reserve members and their families," said Defense Secretary Ash Carter.  “Without the unfaltering support of employers like them, the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve would not be able to fulfill their vital roles in our National Security Strategy.  It is a great honor for me to recognize these employers, and I congratulate them on their receipt of the Employer Support Freedom Award.”


The Freedom Award recipients below will be honored at a ceremony at the Pentagon Aug. 26:




Alaska Airlines

Anchorage, AK

Albuquerque Police Department

Albuquerque, NM

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

Springfield, MO

Burford Corporation

Dublin, OH

Carolinas Healthcare System

Charlotte, NC

Clackamas County Sheriff Office

Oregon City, OR

Delmarva Veteran Builders

Salisbury, MD

FASTSIGNS International, Incorporated

Carrollton, TX

Hope Valley Industries

North Kingstown, RI

Idaho State Police

Meridian, ID


Mooresville, NC

Maryland State Police

Pikesville, MD

Prairie Grove Consolidated School District 46

Crystal Lake, IL

Seattle Fire Department

Seattle, WA

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Akron, OH


The 2016 recipients were selected from 2,424 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists for going far beyond what the federal law requires to support their military employees.  The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 220 employers have been honored with the award.


For more information about the Freedom Award and this year’s recipients, visit To learn more about ESGR, visit