ARLINGTON, Va. – The Honorable Erin C. Conaton, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and James G. Rebholz, National Chair, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), presented the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award to Michael Thrall, chairman, Nyemaster Goode, P.C. of Des Moines, Iowa. The Freedom Award, presented September 20 in Washington D.C. to 15 employers from across the nation, is the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their outstanding support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Representatives of each award recipient also met privately with General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
ESGR received more than 3,200 nominations for the 2012 Freedom Award. Recipients were comprised of small, large and public sector employers. A selection board comprised of senior Department of Defense officials, business leaders and prior awardees selected the recipients. Since 1996, only 175 employers have received the Freedom Award.
For more information about the Freedom Award and this year’s recipients, visit www.FreedomAward.mil.
Established as a DoD agency 40 years ago, ESGR develops and maintains 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.