Richland County Sheriff Finalist

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By Eric Weisfeld

(WOLO) Columbia, SC-Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced Richland County Sheriff’s Department of Columbia, S.C.
as a finalist for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the DoD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve.
A review board comprised of military and civilian leaders selected 30 finalists from a pool of 2,899 nominations submitted earlier this year by National Guard and Reserve Service members. Freedom Award finalists distinguish themselves by implementing both formal policies and informal initiatives that go above and beyond in assisting and encouraging National Guard and Reserve service.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Office was nominated by an Army National Guard employee who wrote that the sheriff’s office ensures deployed service members and their families are contacted every month by a regional leader and a Sheriff’s Chaplain, and deputies regularly visit families’ homes to provide assistance.
The Sheriff’s Office found part-time work in the department for the nominator’s spouse when she was laid off during his deployment.
They also held a promoted position open for the nominator until he returned from his deployment. “The 2013 Freedom Award finalists demonstrate the type of outstanding support our National Guard and Reserve Service members count on when answering the nation’s call to serve,” said ESGR National Chair James G.
Rebholz. “These employers recognize the valuable role they play in the lives of our Citizen Warriors; and in supporting these men and women, the finalists have made a critical contribution to our national security.
On behalf of ESGR and the DoD, I want to thank each of the 2013 finalists for their extraordinary support.” A national selection board of senior DoD officials, business leaders and prior awardees will select 15 Freedom Award recipients, which will be announced early this summer.
The 2013 recipients will be honored at the 18th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on September 26, 2013.
Past recipients of the Freedom Award have met privately with the President and Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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