The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) presented Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One with the Freedom Award – Certificate of Recognition at the Board of Fire Commissioners meeting on Monday, March 11, 2013.
The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Department of Defense to employers for the support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Nominations must come from a Guard or Reserve member who is employed by the organization they are nominating or from a family member.
Gig Harbor firefighter Ryan Kress nominated Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One for the Freedom Award. Kress, who has been with the fire department since April 2008, has served in the Army National Guard and deployed in Iraq and the southern Philippines.
Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One was not a finalist for the Freedom Award but received a Freedom Award – Certificate of Recognition. The Freedom Award was created to publicly recognize employers who provide exceptional support to their Guard and Reserve employees.
Each year, 15 awards are presented to employers in three categories: large business, small business and the public sector. Almost one-half of the U.S. military is comprised of the Guard and Reserve.
The Department of Defense shares these citizen warriors with their civilian employers, many of whom provide significant support to their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. This award recognizes employers who provide the most outstanding support for their Guard and Reserve employees and is presented annually by the Secretary of Defense.
The nation's Reserve components (total Guard and Reserve forces from all branches of the military) comprise approximately 48 percent of its total available military manpower.
Information courtesy of Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One.