Thirty finalists selected from 2,350 nominations for 2018 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award

WASHINGTON – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve proudly announces the 30 finalists for the 2018 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The finalists represent large and small employers, as well as government organizations. ESGR received nominations for employers in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

The ESGR National Selection Board will select and announce the 15 recipients of the 2018 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award by mid-June.

Here are this year’s Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award finalists:

Employer Name State Nominator’s Service
Amazon Wash. Army Reserve
AME Swiss Machining LLC Ind. Air National Guard
ArgenTech Solutions, Inc. Wash. Army Reserve
Barclays N.Y. Army National Guard
Big Sky Advisors Mo. Air National Guard
Central Washington University Wash. Army National Guard
Crystal Group Inc. Iowa Army National Guard
CUNA Mutual Group Wis. Army Reserve
Duke Energy N.C. Marine Corps Reserve
Dunlap Police Department Tenn. Army National Guard
Ecolab, Inc. Minn. Army National Guard
Ellsworth Correctional Facility. Kan. Army Reserve
FMI Corporation N.C. Air Force Reserve
Greencastle Associates Consulting Company Pa. Army National Guard
LG&E and KU Energy Ky. Army National Guard
Michigan Department of Corrections Mich. Army Reserve
Minnesota Department of Transportation Minn. Army National Guard
National Grid R.I. Army National Guard
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Ohio Army National Guard
Prudential Financial Inc. N.J. Air National Guard
Sacramento Municipal Utility District Calif. Navy Reserve
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Pa. Army Reserve
South Charleston Police Department W.V. Army Reserve
State of Nevada Nev. Air National Guard
Stokes County Schools N.C. Army Reserve
Texas Department of Insurance Texas Army Reserve
Werner Enterprises, Inc. Neb. Air National Guard
West Valley City Utah Air Force Reserve
Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office Md. Army National Guard
Worcester Police Department Mass. Army National Guard

The complete list is also at and

History of the Freedom Award:

– The Freedom Award began in 1996 by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to draw attention to support from the employer community.

– To date, only 250 employers have received the award.

Department of Defense (Dod) Awards

Acquisition Awards – The Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement and Development Innovation Awards recognizes Department of Defense (DoD) civilian and military teams who have, in their approach to program management, demonstrated innovation and technical excellence in the acquisition of products and services to achieve more cost effective acquisition outcomes for the Warfighter and the taxpayer.

BARI Awards – The BARI (Bilateral Academic Research Initiative) awards supports basic research in science and engineering stemming from collaborative research between institutions of higher education in both the US and United Kingdom (UK) that is of potential interest to the US DoD and UK Ministry of Defense.

Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence – The Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence recognizes the outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations.

Defense Maintenance Awards – Recognizes outstanding achievements in weapon systems and military equipment maintenance. There are individual and team awards. The Depot Maintenance Excellence Award Field-Level Maintenance Awards.

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Teacher of the Year – The DoDEA Teacher of the Year (TOY) Program brings recognition to great teachers, students, parents, districts, communities, DoDEA and the profession of teaching.

DESI Awards (Defense Enterprise Science Initiative) – DESI is a pilot program supporting university-industry research collaboration focused on accelerating the impact of basic research on defense capabilities.

DUIRP Awards (Defense University Research Instrumentation Program) – DURIP instrumentation awards provide the unique means through which DoD supports universities in the acquisition of essential laboratory equipment, usually out of reach for most research grants.

Environmental Awards – Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards honors individuals, teams, and installations for their outstanding achievements and innovative environmental practices

Freedom Awards – The Employer Support Freedom Awards are the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

National Public Lands Day Department of Defense Awards –  Funds are available for base-level projects on any DoD site that supports the goals of National Public Lands Day: to improve the quality of public lands and to educate the public about natural resource issues and stewardship. NPLD projects that take place on DoD lands that are open to the public for recreation, including those managed by the US Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Guard, or Navy.

Research and Education Awards to Minority-Serving Institutions – Awards ranging from $300,000 to $600,000 will support three-year research projects with up to four students per project each year.

Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards – The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.

Support Freedom Awards – The highest U.S. government honor to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

Value Engineering (VE) Awards – The award recognizes DOD civilian and military organizations, teams, individuals, and programs or projects demonstrating exemplary VE accomplishments.