Citigroup today announced that it has been selected to receive the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) agency. Fifteen employers will be honored with this year's Freedom Award, the DoD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees. Citi is the only bank to receive the 2012 Freedom Award. These recipients distinguished themselves among the 3,236 nominations submitted earlier this year by Guardsmen and Reservists, or family members acting on their behalf. Thirty employee-service members nominated Citi for the award.
“Citi is honored to receive the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award,” said Vikram Pandit, Citi CEO. “The Guard and Reserve are essential to the strength of our nation and the well-being of our communities. We currently employ nearly 2,000 self-identified veterans across our business, and we’re dedicated to their professional development. In addition, we are working with our businesses and community partners to promote and preserve homeownership for military families and empower them to manage their finances. We are committed to providing America’s veterans and men and women in uniform with professional opportunities and to ensuring that military families around the country have the support they deserve."
Freedom Award recipients go above and beyond what the law requires of Guard and Reserve employers. The nominations for Citi reported that Citi has distinguished itself in supporting members of the Guard and Reservists through its Citi Salutes initiative, which includes employee networks and hiring commitments, including onboarding an additional 1,000 veterans by the end of 2012. In 2011, Citi hired nearly 700 veterans, became a founding member of Veterans on Wall Street and continued its leadership in Joining Forces. Citi also joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Veterans Employment Advisory Council and developed a training program to ensure recruiters and hiring managers are equipped to translate military experience into job-specific qualifications.
"On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, I thank the 2012 Freedom Award recipients for taking such exceptional care of the Guard and Reserve members they employ," said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Jessica L. Wright. "Our military could not meet today’s national security demands without the Guard and Reserve, who in turn could not provide such dedicated service without the cooperation of their employers at home. These Freedom Award recipients have distinguished themselves nationally for their remarkable efforts, and we greatly appreciate their unwavering support."
A selection board comprised of senior DoD officials, business leaders and prior awardees selected the 15 recipients. Out of the 30 nominations for Citi, a specific nomination from an Air National Guardsman employed by Citibank in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was highlighted by the selection board in naming Citi a Freedom Award recipient.
Since 1996, only 160 employers have received the Freedom Award. The 2012 honorees will be recognized at the 17th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C. on September 20th.
Citi is an official partner of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, and in 2011 Vikram Pandit signed the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve Statement of Support. Citi was also named among the top ten “Best for Vets” Employers for 2012 by Military Times EDGE.
For more information about the Freedom Award and this year’s recipients, visit www.FreedomAward.mil. For more information about Citi’s work to support U.S. Armed Service members, veterans and their families, visit www.citisalutes.com.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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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. In the years since, 160 employers have been honored with the award. Established as a DoD agency 40 years ago, ESGR develops and maintains 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.
For questions or interviews regarding the Freedom Award, please contact Beth Sherman, ESGR Public Affairs, at 571-372-0705 or by email at ESGR-PA@osd.mil.