Freedom Award Nomination Process:

Who is eligible to nominate?

Any Guard or Reserve service member can nominate their employer. If a service member does not have access to submit a nomination, a family member can nominate the service member’s employer on their behalf.

Who is eligible to receive the award?

Small, large (500+) and public employers can be nominated. The employer MUST be the service member’s current employer. Nominations for friends, family, schools, stores, etc. that are not the service member’s employer will not be considered.

How to complete the nomination process:

  • Click on the “Nominate” button at the top or bottom of this page. Open the form and review the questions before filling in any of the fields.
  • If you do not know how to answer any of the questions, print the form and gather the pertinent information before going any farther. Ask your employer or HR representative for clarification if you need assistance answering the questions.
  • A nomination form must be completed in one session, so fill out the nomination form fully and accurately. There is not an option to save your data and submit later.
  • It is recommended that you use the cursor to enter your information in each field. Do not hit the “Backspace” button, as all typed information will be lost. Your information will not be saved until you hit “Submit.”
  • For each question, please provide supporting information in the text box below each question. This is your chance to enhance your nomination by providing thorough explanations of why your employer deserves to be considered for this award (for example: elaborating on pay and benefit policies, service member and family support provided).

Information to include in text boxes:

What sets your employer apart from others? Do they make it easy for you to meet your military service obligations? Did they provide free childcare while you were deployed, or take care of your lawn while you were gone? Do they check up on your spouse, family members, or perform home repair in a time of crisis in your absence? Elaborating on all of the ways in which your employer supports you, your family, other service members and the military community will ensure the strongest nomination possible. For more information on what it takes to be a Freedom Award recipient, please select an option from the “Recipient” dropdown menu to see the contributions made by current and previous recipients.

What happens next?

After your nomination is submitted, it will go to a review committee in your state. Once the nomination period closes in January, the state will select semifinalists to move forward. A review board at HQ ESGR, a Department of Defense agency, considers all semifinalists for selection to the next round (finalists). The group of finalists goes before a National Selection Board comprised of senior Department of Defense officials, representatives from each of the seven Reserve Components, employer associations and past recipients of the Freedom Award. This selection committee makes recommendations for up to 15 recipients to the Secretary of Defense for final approval. Semifinalists are announced in early spring, and recipients are finalized by early summer. The annual award ceremony is held each September.

All of the selections will be announced in press releases listed under the “Media” dropdown. You can check back during the process to see if your nomination has been selected.


Other ESGR Employer Awards

ESGR grants a series of Department of Defense (DoD) awards to recognize employers who support their Guard and Reserve employees. See our ESGR Employer Awards section and learn how you can nominate supportive employers.

ESGR Employer Awards