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Freedom Award nomination season now open

  • Published
  • Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense is pleased to announce the 2020 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Nomination Season opens October 1, 2019. The Award, commonly referred to as the Freedom Award, is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for exemplary support of their National Guard and Reserve employees.

If you are serving in the National Guard or Reserves and your employer goes above and beyond to support your military service, nominate your organization for this esteemed recognition!

Nominations must come from a Guard or Reserve member employed by the organization they are nominating, or from a family member. Nominated organizations may include large and small employers from all industries including health, transportation, hospitality, entertainment, banking, service and security, as well as from federal, state and local government agencies.

To submit a nomination, visit, and click the “Nominate Employer” box on the home page to access the form and for additional information on the award and process.

The 2019 Freedom Award recipients were selected from 2,415 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists highlighting how their civilian employers went far beyond what the federal law requires to support them.

The Freedom Award was established in 1996 under the auspices of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to recognize exceptional employer support, with 280 honorees to date. To learn more about the Freedom Award, visit

ESGR is a Department of Defense program within the Defense Personnel and Family Support Center 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. To learn more about ESGR, visit