The following 15 employers have been named recipients of the 2018 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the highest honor given to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

“It is my pleasure to recognize these 15 outstanding civilian employers,” said Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis.  “Our National Guard and Reserve members are a vital part of our defense strategy and deserve as much support as this country can provide.  These 15 employers lead the way in providing that.  We are grateful to them for their role in helping to keep our nation safe and secure.”

The Freedom Award recipients will be honored Aug. 24.

The 2018 recipients were selected from more than 2,350 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists highlighting how their civilian employers went far beyond what the federal law requires to support them. The Freedom Award began in 1996 under the auspices of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize exceptional employer support, with 250 honorees to date.

For more information about the Freedom Award and this year’s recipients, visit To learn more about ESGR, part of the Defense Personnel and Family Support Center, visit



Seattle, Washington

Nominated by: Lt. Col. Tamara Thieman

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AME Swiss Machining LLC

Ligonier, Indiana

Nominated by: Tech. Sgt. Jasmine Snyder


ArgenTech Solutions, Inc.

Newmarket, New Hampshire

Nominated by: Capt. Jay Lorentz

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Big Sky Advisors

St. Louis, Missouri

Nominated by: 2nd Lt. Anthony Rich


Crystal Group, Inc.

Hiawatha, Iowa

Nominated by: Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Kuehl


Duke Energy

Charlotte, North Carolina

Nominated by: Maj. Samuel Johnson


Dunlap Police Department

Dunlap, Tennessee

Nominated by: Spc. Robert Raber

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FMI Corporation

Raleigh, North Carolina

Nominated by: Maj. Jason Snyder

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Greencastle Associates Consulting, LLC

Malvern, Pennsylvania

Nominated by: Maj. Troy Beane


Minnesota Department of Transportation

St. Paul, Minnesota

Nominated by: Capt. Terry Melcher

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Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Nominated by: Col. Gary Clark

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South Charleston Police Department

South Charleston, West Virginia

Nominated by: Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Ellis

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Texas Department of Insurance

Austin, Texas

Nominated by: Lt. Col. Kyson Johnson


Werner Enterprises, Inc.

Omaha, Nebraska

Nominated by: Capt. Adam Cassidy


Wicomico County  Sheriff’s Office

Salisbury, Maryland

Nominated by: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Scott Hamilton