WASHINGTON – Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced today that Maryland State Police has been named as a recipient of the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor the department gives to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees. Fifteen employers were selected for the 2016 award.
“These 15 employers have distinguished themselves through their outstanding support of our Guard and Reserve members and their families,” said Defense Secretary Ash Carter. “Without the unfaltering support of employers like them, the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve would not be able to fulfill their vital roles in our National Security Strategy. It is a great honor for me to recognize these employers, and I congratulate them on their receipt of the Employer Support Freedom Award.”
The 2016 recipients were selected from 2,424 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 220 employers have been honored with the award.
Almost half of the U.S. military is made up of National Guard and Reserve members, many of whom also hold jobs with civilian employers. The Freedom Award recognizes those employers that provide the most outstanding support for these Citizen Warriors. This year’s recipients will be honored at the Pentagon in an official ceremony on August 26.
“We are honored to receive this recognition for support of our military personnel,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William Pallozzi said. “The dual military and police careers of many in the Maryland Department of State Police is proof of the commitment to service to others the men and women of our Department are known for. Currently, we have more than 140 members of the Maryland State Police and one member of the Office of the State Fire Marshal who are also serving in the National Guard or Reserves. I commend each of them for their service to our state and our nation. We will continue to do our duty to support our troopers and civilian employees who also serve in the military and have given so much in defense of our nation and the freedoms we enjoy.”