Department of Defense Announces 2008 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Recipients


Fifteen Employers Nationwide Receive Top Honor for Guard and Reserve Support

ARLINGTON, VA –The Department of Defense has announced the 2008 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients.  The 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.  The 2008 recipients include:  

  • Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma – Durant, OK
  • Chrysler Motors, LLC – Auburn Hills, MI
  • City of Austin – Austin, TX
  • Coastal Windows, Inc. – Waipahu, HI
  • Dominion Resources, Inc. – Richmond, VA
  • Jersey City Fire Department – Jersey City, NJ
  • Lochinvar Corporation – Lebanon, TN
  • Oakland County Sheriff’s Office – Pontiac, MI
  • Oshkosh Corporation – Oshkosh, WI
  • Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority – Reno, NV
  • Robinson Transport, Inc. – Salina, UT
  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. – Bloomington, IL
  • Union Pacific Corporation – Omaha, NE
  • Winner School District – Winner, SD
  • Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC. – Winston-Salem, NC


A record 2,199 National Guard and Reserve members or their family members from across the country nominated their employers for their outstanding support.  A national selection board comprised of senior Defense officials and business leaders selected the recipients for this year’s award.  The Freedom Award will be presented to these employers during a formal ceremony Thursday, September 18, 2008 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.  

“These employers have provided exceptional support to the men and women serving in our National Guard and Reserve and now, more than ever, we appreciate and thank them for doing much more for these employees than the law requires,” said Dr. L. Gordon Sumner Jr., Executive Director of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR.) 

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (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.  More information about ESGR is available at

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to recognize exceptional support from the employer community.  Previous honorees include American Express, General Motors, Sears, The Home Depot, the State of Tennessee and the family owned Augustine & Sons farm in Rose Hill, IA.   

More information about the Freedom Award is available at or by calling the ESGR office at (800) 336-4590.