Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, announced Gary Jet Center of Gary, Ind., has been selected to receive the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. Fifteen employers will be honored with this year's Freedom Award, the DoD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees. These recipients distinguished themselves among the 3,236 nominations submitted earlier this year by Guardsmen and Reservists, or family members acting on their behalf.
Freedom Award recipients go above and beyond what the law requires of Guard and Reserve employers. Gary Jet Center was nominated by a member of the Air National Guard. The Guardsman reported that Gary Jet Center employs several members of the Guard and Reserve, actively seeks military applicants for new positions, and is involved with the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program. Gary Jet Center donates jet fuel for aircrafts carrying injured soldiers home from Walter Reed Medical Center, and military aircrews that land at Gary International Airport are provided free ground transportation and pilot services. The nominator is one of nine employees on the staff of 47 who is either a veteran or is currently serving in the Guard or Reserve.
"On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, I thank the 2012 Freedom Award recipients for taking such exceptional care of the Guard and Reserve members they employ," said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Jessica L. Wright. "Our military could not meet today’s national security demands without the Guard and Reserve, who in turn could not provide such dedicated service without the cooperation of their employers at home. These Freedom Award recipients have distinguished themselves nationally for their remarkable efforts, and we greatly appreciate their unwavering support."
A selection board comprised of senior DoD officials, business leaders and prior awardees selected the 15 recipients. Since 1996, only 160 employers have received the Freedom Award. The 2012 honorees will be recognized at the 17th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C. on September 20th.
For more information about the Freedom Award and this year’s recipients, visit www.FreedomAward.mil.
About ESGR and the Freedom Award:
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 160 employers have been honored with the award. Established as a DoD agency 40 years ago, ESGR develops and maintains employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.
For questions or interviews regarding the Freedom Award, please contact Beth Sherman, ESGR Public Affairs, at 571-372-0705 or by email at ESGR-PA@osd.mil.