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SCANG Airmen encouraged to recognize their employers

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MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina -- Deployments, inspections and normal flying operations kept the SCANG plenty busy in 2012. And 2013 quickly is shaping up to be just as busy with a Security Forces deployment, the Phase I and Phase II Operational Readiness Inspection. With this in mind, traditional Guardsmen can formally recognize a supportive employer by nominating them for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

Col. Mike Hudson, 169th Fighter Wing commander, said, "It's a simple fact our traditional folks couldn't do what they do without the support of their civilian employers. I'm encouraging Swamp Foxes with employers that go above and beyond in supporting their service to take a few minutes to nominate them for this well-deserved recognition."

Civilian employer nominations can be submitted through Jan. 21. The Freedom Award is DOD's highest recognition for civilian employers, presented in honor of the support they provide their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

James G. Rebholz is the national chair of DOD's Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. He said, "A Freedom Award nomination allows service members to acknowledge and thank their employer for the essential role they play in supporting their military career and in our nation's defense."

Nearly 1 million Americans serve in the Guard and Reserve, comprising about half the nation's total military, ESGR officials said. For more than 10 years, such "citizen-warriors" have responded to "unprecedented national security demands and humanitarian missions spanning the globe," ESGR officials said, adding that the civilian employers of Guardsmen and Reservists have shared in their service to the nation by standing behind employees and providing essential support and peace of mind during deployment.

Up to 15 of the nation's most-supportive employers are selected every year as recipients of the Freedom Award and are honored at the ESGR's annual ceremony in Washington, D.C. Past Freedom Award employer recipients have provided such extra-step support measures as arranging child care services for deployed employees, sponsoring trips to visit injured employees, and working longer hours to cover the shifts of employees who are in military training. The Freedom Award was established in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community, the officials said. In the years since, 175 employers have been honored with the award.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. ESGR also advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers.

For more information, go to http://www.esgr.mil/
Information from an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve News Release