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ESGR in the News


WASHINGTON ­– Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III named Marcus Construction one of the 15 recipients of the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, in recognition of the organization’s exemplary support for its National Guard and Reserve employees.   

“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.”

Marcus Construction, along with 14 other recipients were selected from 3,382 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists highlighting how their civilian employers went far beyond what the federal law requires to support them. 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.

Marcus Construction supports their military employees, with executives often prioritizing an employee’s military duties above their own. Mr. Marcus has been known to change his own schedule to support his military employees, and provided use of the company plane for employee travel to perform military service. In addition, the company routinely recognizes and highlights its military employees, and takes care of their families during deployments.

“Marcus Construction has consistently demonstrated exceptional support for past veterans and those currently serving by creating a corporate culture that recognizes sacrifices and appreciates the added value a service member brings to the team,” said Minnesota Army National Guard Lt. Col. Dan O’Meara, who nominated Marcus Construction for the award. “I fully appreciate the support they have given my family and I before, during, and after my deployment. I would not be able to serve in the Minnesota Army National Guard in the capacity I do without the immense support from Ross Marcus and the entire Marcus Construction team.”

Marcus Construction CEO Ross Marcus underscored how important National Guard and Reserve members are to their workforce. “Marcus Construction considers it an honor and a privilege to have been nominated for this prestigious Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award,” said Marcus. “We are very proud of all branches of the United States Military and for the freedoms that they continue to supply for our nation. We are also very proud of our Marcus employees that are currently serving or have served in their respected Guard and Reserve Units. On a daily basis these men and women represent our company and the United States Military with a high-level of dedication and integrity.”

The award will be presented to Marcus Construction by Tom Simonet, Chair of the Minnesota ESGR State Committee in a local ceremony.

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

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.

Posted in: Minnesota
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