Gary Jet Center To Receive Defense Department Award

ARLINGTON, Va. – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, will present 15 employers from across the nation with the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the nation’s highest honor for employer support of Guard and Reserve employees. Government leaders, senior military officials and previous award recipients will attend the Freedom Award ceremony on September 20, 7:30 p.m., at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. The honorees will also meet privately with General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, earlier that day.


Only 160 employers have been presented the Freedom Award since its institution in 1996. Comprised of large, small and public sector employers, the 2012 recipients’ exceptional support stood out from the more than 3,200 nominations submitted by Guardsmen, Reservists, or family members acting on their behalf. This year’s honorees range from a law firm in the Midwest, to a small southern church, to some of the nation’s largest corporations in the banking, manufacturing and airline industries.


Nearly one-half of the total U.S. military strength resides in the Guard and Reserve. Since 2001, members of the Guard and Reserve have played a critical role in responding to historic national security demands and devastating natural disasters. The nation’s employers have demonstrated continued encouragement of their Guard and Reserve employees’ service. The Freedom Award recipients have even gone above and beyond what is expected of employers, helping to restore stability, predictability and peace of mind for those employees who stand ready to serve when their nation calls upon them. 


WHAT:           2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award


WHEN:           Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reception: 6:30 p.m.; Ceremony and Dinner: 7:30 p.m.


WHERE:         The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.