JUNE 26, 2015, WASHINGTON – Pentagon officials announced Thursday the 15 recipients of the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor the department gives to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.
“These outstanding employers have not only earned this award, they have earned this nation’s gratitude,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said. “I am truly honored to recognize these 15 organizations for their unwavering support of our military men and women and their families. Their accomplishments are a vital piece of our national defense and a high standard toward which all employers of Guard and Reserve members should strive.”
This year’s recipients are:
* Black Hills Corporation, Rapid City, South Dakota, nominated by the Army National Guard;
* Boise Fire Department, Boise, Idaho, nominated by the Marine Corps Reserve;
* BP America, Houston, nominated by the Army National Guard;
* Cardinal Health, Dublin, Ohio, nominated by the Army National Guard;
* Cigna, Bloomfield, Connecticut, nominated by the Air National Guard;
* City of Glendale, Arizona, nominated by the Navy Reserve;
* City of Shawnee, Kansas, nominated by the Army Reserve;
* College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri, nominated by the Army National Guard;
* CVS Health, Woonsocket, Rhode Island, nominated by the Air National Guard;
* Devon Energy, Oklahoma City, nominated by the Air National Guard;
* Dr. Joe A. Jackson, Biloxi, Mississippi, nominated by the Army National Guard;
* Neil, Dymott, Frank, McFall, Trexler, McCabe & Hudson, San Diego, nominated by the Navy Reserve;
* Snell & Wilmer, Phoenix, nominated by the Marine Corps Reserve;
* Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, nominated by the Navy Reserve; and
* Walt Disney Co., Burbank, California, nominated by the Air National Guard.
Support Beyond Federal Requirements
The 2015 recipients were selected from 2,960 nominations received from Guardsmen and reservists for going far beyond what federal law requires in support of military employees, officials said.
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of DoD’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve office to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 205 employers have received the award.
The 2015 recipients will be honored at an Aug. 21 ceremony in the Pentagon.