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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Employer Among Fifteen to Receive Nations Highest Honor for Supporting Guard and Reserve Employees

Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1

ARLINGTON, Va - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced that US Bank Minneapolis, Minn is one of 15 recipients of 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 Guard and Reserve employees These employers distinguished themselves among the 2,899 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists The 2013 recipients will be honored at the 18th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony in Washington, DC on September 26, 2013

"I commend and thank the 15 recipients of the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for providing exceptional support to our Citizen Warriors," said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "So many of our Nation's employers are finding ways to contribute to our Nation's security, but these employers stand out for their commitment to our Guardsmen and Reservists They have the gratitude and thanks of the entire Department of Defense"

US Bank was nominated by a member of the Air Force Reserve The nominator reported US Bank supports Guard and Reserve employees through the newly established Proud to Serve program, a company-wide initiative focused on hiring and supporting service members and their families US Bank publicly committed to hiring 1,000 service members and veterans between 2012 and 2013, and surpassed its goal in 2012 alone by 597 new veterans The nominator reported the bank provides two weeks of additional paid leave to family members impacted by a deployment, among other military support policies

"This recognition by the Department of Defense is an incredible honor," said Richard Davis, chairman, president and chief executive officer of US Bancorp (NYSE: USB), the parent company of US Bank "We are grateful for the service provided by members of the military, and our employees who are serving in the National Guard and Reserve They help protect our freedom and keep our nation safe"

The 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients are:

Employer Location Albuquerque Fire Department, Albuquerque, NM Bank of America, Charlotte, NC CW Driver, Pasadena, Calif City of Columbus, Columbus, Ohio Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado Springs, Colo DaVita, Inc, Denver, Colo Eastman Chemical, Kingsport, Tenn Family Allergy & Asthma, Louisville, Ky Humana, Louisville, Ky Pape-Dawson Engineers, Inc, San Antonio, Texas Richland County Sheriff's Department, Columbia, SC Safeway Inc, Pleasanton, Calif Steel Plate Fabricators, Knoxville, Tenn US Bank, Minneapolis, Minn US Marshals Service, Washington, DC

Since 1996, only 175 employers have received the Freedom Award Previous awardees have met with the President and Vice President of the United States, and the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

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 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

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