The U.S. Department of Defense has named Lexmark one of 15 recipients of the 2020 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
"I am proud to recognize these 15 outstanding civilian employers," said Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper in the Department of Defense news release. "The citizen warriors of the National Guard and Reserve have evolved from a strategic reserve to become an integral component of the operational force. Having employers that support their military service is critical to their success and the success of our national defense strategy."
Esper added, "We salute these exemplary employers for their steadfast commitment to their Guard and Reserve employees, their patriotism, and their contributions to the defense and security of our great nation."
Freedom Award recipients were selected from more than 2,600 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists highlighting how their civilian employers went far beyond what federal law requires to support them. The Freedom Award began in 1996, and there have been 295 honorees to date.
Lexmark was nominated for the award by David Jenkins, who leads Lexmark’s IT Strategic Project Management Office. Jenkins is a brigadier general and serves as assistant adjutant general for the South Carolina National Guard.
"Lexmark values the leadership skills veterans bring to the table and recognizes the partnership that inherently exists with the Reserve Components of the Armed Forces," said Jenkins. "From Captain to Flag Officer, through deployments and international expatriate assignments, Lexmark has enabled me to advance and realize my potential as a leader in both corporate America and the Army National Guard. I could not maintain the high tempo demanded of my military service without the unwavering advocacy and support of my colleagues at Lexmark."
"We are proud to receive the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award," said President and CEO Allen Waugerman. "Lexmark takes great pride in supporting the communities in which we live and serve, and acknowledge the personal sacrifices made by veterans, reserve component personnel still serving, and their families. We are pleased to be recognized as a company that is committed to honoring the sacrifice and commitment of National Guard and Reserve forces."
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