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Ford Motor Company today received the 2011 & hellip;

Ford Motor Company today received the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in recognition of the support it provides its National Guard and Reserve employees.

Ford Motor Company today received the 2011…

  • Ford Motor Company receives the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in recognition of the support it provides its National Guard and Reserve employees
  • Michigan State Legislature recognizes Ford for its achievement
  • The Ford Motor Company Fund to participate in Honor Flight Network

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 22, 2011 – Ford Motor Company today received the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in recognition of the support it provides its National Guard and Reserve employees.

The Freedom Award is sponsored by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).  It is the highest honor bestowed by the Department of Defense on America's employers who provide exceptional support to their employees.  Ford was one of 15 companies nationwide selected for this award out of more than 4,000 nominations.

“Our military members and reservists are a source of inspiration,” said Mike Bannister, Ford executive vice president, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Credit Company, and executive champion of the Ford Veterans Network Group. “These are fine men and women, and we are privileged to be able to provide some measure of support as their employer. We appreciate this recognition.”

Ford received a total of six nominations.  One nomination was submitted by Todd Brooks, a Ford engineering supervisor currently serving in the Navy Reserve.  “There is an incredible untold story of compassion, commitment and corporate leadership that Ford Motor Company has been quietly providing to the nation’s veterans for years,” he said.  “Ford makes service to our country much easier.  From senior leadership all the way down the ladder, they understand the necessity of the citizen soldier and the difficulties their loved ones face as a result of their commitment.”

Earlier this week, the Michigan Legislature passed resolutions honoring Ford’s work on behalf of its Guard and Reserve employees in conjunction with the Freedom Award ceremony.  Much of Ford’s support goes beyond what is required by law, including the differential pay Ford provides its employees on active duty to ensure they don’t take a pay cut when switching from their civilian salary to active duty. In the U.S., Ford employs approximately 700 U.S. Reservists and Guardsmen, along with more than 7,000 U.S. veterans.  Ford currently has nearly 30 U.S. employees actively serving in the military.

The Ford Motor Company Fund also announced today that it will participate in the Honor Flight Network beginning in November, sponsoring two trips to bring World War II veterans from Detroit and Louisville, Ky., to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II Memorial.  More than 60 veterans are expected to take part in the trips, where they will also receive letters from family, friends and students thanking them for their service.  The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created to honor America’s veterans for their sacrifices.  Veterans are transported, free of charge, to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials.  The first honor flight took place in May of 2005 from Springfield, Ohio.

Ford Motor Company has a long history of supporting its veterans and military personnel. Ford’s relationship with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) began in 1922, when Henry Ford organized a cross-country caravan of 50 Model T’s to take disabled veterans to their convention in San Francisco. Since 1974, Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services have provided more than $6 million to veterans’ organizations.

Since 1996, Ford has donated 156 vehicles to the DAV for its Transportation Network, totaling approximately $4 million.  Each year Ford sponsors the DAV’s winter sports clinic and has supported the DAV’s youth scholarship volunteer program since 2000.  Ford also helps other veterans through additional vehicle donations and scholarships.

In addition, the Ford Veterans Network Group (VETNG), one of Ford’s corporately supported Employee Resource Groups, sponsors activities throughout the year in support of its veterans, military personnel and their families.

Editor's Note: Footage from the Department of Defense Freedom Award ceremony can be found here beginning Friday morning:


About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit

About ESGR and the Freedom Award
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. ESGR was established in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.