July 16, 2015
By Kathy Thorp
The Department of the Defense (DOD)’s Employer Support Guard and Reserve (ESGR) recently selected Booz Allen Hamilton as a semi-finalist for the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is DOD’s highest honor for employers who provide extraordinary support for military service in the Guard and Reserve, and this stage of the selection process narrowed the nominated organizations to 150 from a pool of 2,960.
Paul Mock, National Chair of the ESGR, said about the nominated organizations, “These employers are serving our military and our nation proudly through support of our citizen warriors. They are helping to keep America strong, and we are grateful for the important role they play in maintaining the well-being of our Guard and Reserve members and families.” Several of the firm’s employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserves—residing in Alabama; California; Washington, DC; Texas; and Maryland nominated the firm for this prestigious award. ESGR will announce the 2015 final award receipts in the early summer.
Additional honors came at the local level, when the Maryland ESGR committee selected Booz Allen for its “Above and Beyond Award,” which recognizes companies who have gone above and beyond their legal requirements by providing additional non-mandated benefits, such as subsidized or full pay to offset lost wages while on duty, and short- and long-term military leave options. Jean Hulet, Maryland ESGR State Chair presented the award to Principal Richard Fogelson and Navy Reserve Member and Booz Allen Associate Kathy Thorp at the annual awards banquet this May.
At the recognition event, Maryland Veterans Affairs Secretary George Owens, the guest speaker for the evening, provided a poignant speech on the vital importance of employer support. He shared his personal story of struggling to find employment upon returning from service in Vietnam and expressed how helpful it would have been to have an organization like ESGR to support him during that time.