Home News Local News NMMI named as finalist for Freedom Award

NMMI named as finalist for Freedom Award


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WASHINGTON – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) announces New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) has been named one of 30 finalists for the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, in recognition of the organization’s support for its National Guard and Reserve employees.

Maj. Gen. Jerry Grizzle, president and superintendent of NMMI (Submitted Photo)

“I am honored to congratulate these 30 outstanding employers, who have distinguished themselves in supporting their Reserve Component employees,” said Ron Bogle, ESGR’s national chair. “Employers play a critical role in the readiness and success of our National Guard and Reserve forces, and by valuing and supporting their employees’ military service, they are making a direct contribution to our nation’s security.”

NMMI, along with 29 other finalists were selected from 3,382 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists highlighting how their civilian employers went far beyond what the federal law requires to support them. The finalists represent large and small employers, as well as public sector organizations. Celebrating its 25th year, the Freedom Award began in 1996 under the auspices of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize exceptional employer support, with 295 honorees to date.

NMMI supports their military employees by service to community, state and country as part of their core values. Military duty is not just encouraged but celebrated by the leadership and faculty.

Col. Jason E. Garcia,
U.S. Army Reserve (Submitted Photo)

“New Mexico Military Institute has consistently demonstrated genuine commitment to their Citizen-Soldiers. NMMI has fully supported all of its service members through deployments and the high demands of various leadership positions that each service member has held throughout their military careers. I personally could not have maintained the high tempo of completing the Army War College while balancing my military service as a brigade commander and chief of staff without the support and understanding of NMMI,” said Col. Jason E. Garcia, who nominated NMMI for the award.

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NMMI’s president/superintendent, Maj. Gen. Jerry Grizzle, PhD, United States Army (Retired), underscored how important National Guard and Reserve members are to their workforce. “NMMI is honored to be a finalist for this award. The ESGR program in New Mexico and nationwide is one that NMMI supports, and I personally have benefited from. I served 34 years, the majority of that in a Reserve Component capacity. Without the support of the ESGR and my employers, I would have never been able to advance and achieve the rank I was able to obtain. Now as an employer, I want to do everything we can to support our members serving in an active, reserve component status,” said Grizzle.

The 15 employers selected to receive the 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award will be announced early this summer.

For more information about the Freedom Award, visit www.FreedomAward.mil. To learn more about ESGR, visit www.ESGR.mil.

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