The beginning of the new year marks the final days for North Carolina National Guard and Reserve members and their families to nominate supportive employers for the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.  With 69 nominations from North Carolina already submitted, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense agency, continues to encourage nominations of employers who have gone above and beyond in their support of military employees.  Nominations will be accepted at www.FreedomAward.mil through January 19, 2009.  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.

Fifteen recipients from across the nation will be selected, representing small employers, large employers and public sector employers.  The 2009 recipients will be announced in the spring and honored in Washington, D.C. at the 14th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony September 17, 2009.

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.

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.mil or contact Beth Sherman, ESGR Public Affairs, at 703-380-9717.