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2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award nomination process

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, announced the opening of the nomination season for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. National Guard and Reserve members and their families are eligible and encouraged to nominate employers who have provided exceptional support of military employees above the federal law requirements. Nominations will be accepted at www.FreedomAward.mil from November 1, 2010 to January 17, 2011.

The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

National Guard and Reserve members and their families are highly encouraged to begin the process by first nominating their employer for the "ESGR Patriot Award". This award is an easy way for the service member to recognize their employers important support. Online nominations for the "Patriot Award" can be completed by going to www.esgr.mil. On the right side of the page select "Servicemembers, Award Your Employer" and complete the on-line form and submit. The next step is to complete the "Freedom Award" nomination at the website listed above.

-What is support above the requirements of the federal law during period of military service or long deployments?

-Does your employer continue full pay and benefits during your military service?

-Does your employer pay you the difference between your civilian pay and military pay if your military pay is less?

-Does your employer provide continuation of your health care benefits during military service?

-Does your employer stay in contact with you during long periods of absence for military service? Send you a care package or two?

-Does your employer stay in touch with your spouse and family and offer assistance when needed in your absence?

These are examples of support which are clearly above and beyond the requirements of federal law. This is the type of support the Secretary of Defense seeks to recognize.

ESGR is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972. Its mission is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law and resolving conflicts through mediation.

For questions regarding the Freedom Award nomination process, please visit www.FreedomAward.milĀ or contact:

Chris Willden
Deputy Director for Employer Outreach
Office: (801) 245-2610
Cell: (801) 915-4118
Christopher.willden@ang.af.mil

Or

Kim Watts
Executive Director
Utah ESGR Committee
12953 South Minuteman Dr.
Draper, UT 84020
Office: 801-432-4492
Cell: 801-915-1400
Robert.k.watts@us.army.mil