Fifteen business from around the country received awards in a Pentagon ceremony Friday for their work in supporting members of their staffs who deploy has part of local military reserve for National Guard units.
Among this year’s winners are the Houston Police Department, Chevron and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
“These employers come up with a way to take care of the absence,” host Jonathan Elias, an anchor for WJLA in Washington, D.C., said in his remarks. “And not just the absence for their own being, they emotionally plug into those deployed to help them and their families get through the deployment.”
Given out since 1996, the award was created by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, and given based on nominations from employees and families.
For active duty service members, their main concern are often their units and their families, according to James Stewart, performing the duties of the deputy secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, it can be more complicated for reservists.
“On the Reserve and Guard side, we have one more important element of that three legged stool, and that’s you, the employer,” Stewart said in his remarks.
And in many cases, he added, the businesses are owned and managed by reservists.
While laws are in place to prevent a reservist from losing his or her job due to a deployment, the award incentives companies to go above and beyond in supporting their reservist employees.
“Members of the Guard and Reserve are a lot different, as they said, than they were before 9/11,” Stewart said, in that they have been regularly deploying for the past 18 years.
The full list of honorees includes:
- Archer Daniels Midland in Chicago, Illinois.
- Barclays New York, New York.
- Callison Tighe & Robinson, LLC Columbia, South Carolina.
- Chevron, headquartered in San Ramon, California.
- Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, based in Lebanon, Tennessee.
- Delta Solutions & Strategies, LLC in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
- Direct Supply, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- Eversource Energy in Hartford, Connecticut, and Boston, Massachusetts.
- Houston Police Department in Houston, Texas.
- Kauai Auto Repair Kalaheo, Hawaii
- Levi Rodgers Real Estate Group in San Antonio, Texas.
- LG&E and KU Energy, LLC in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.
- The Steel Network in Durham, North Carolina.
- The city of West Valley City, Utah.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members. Follow on Twitter @Meghann_MT