CWU News

CWU Finalist for Secretary of Defense Award

ESGR Pro Patria award certificateCWU is a finalist for the 2018 Freedom Award, which recognizes organizations and businesses that support their employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve.

The award, known as the Secretary of Defense Employer Freedom Award, is annually presented to up to 15 public and private organizations.

CWU is one of 30 finalists for the award, which is administered by the Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a volunteer group that encourages employers to support those serving in the Guard and Reserve.

“We are so honored to be considered for this prestigious award,” said CWU President James L. Gaudino. “Our campus has had a long-standing commitment to our men and women serving in uniform.”

In addition to being a finalist for the national honor, CWU has been selected for the ESGR Pro Patria Award, the highest corresponding state recognition, which will be presented Saturday, May 5, in Tacoma. The award is bestowed annually to a small, large, and public-sector employer in the state.

Nominees for both awards were selected based on their demonstrated support of Guard and Reserve employees through their leadership and practices, including adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the National Guard and Reserve.
The nominations are made by Guardsman and Reservist employees, or a family member, to recognize an organization’s backing for his/her military service. CWU was nominated specifically for its support of the Army National Guard.

“I am very grateful for the privilege of serving both our great nation and an institution that supports people in uniform the way CWU does,” said Andreas Bohman, the university’s Chief Information Officer, who submitted the CWU nomination. “Balancing a civilian career with military obligations can place significant strain on families, employers, and service members alike. Fortunately, CWU has a very robust support framework for employees that also serve in the military, which made nominating our institution an obvious choice.”

Bohman is also a Washington State National Guard member and on the CWU Information Technology and Administrative Management faculty, where he teaches classes on his specialty, cybersecurity.

“In the past, I had to spend time away from campus to meet lengthy military-service obligations and this would have been impossible without the fantastic support my family received. This is a great representation of the ‘Wildcat Way,’” Bohman continued.

ESGR, established in 1972, is an official United States Department of Defense program, designed to promote cooperation and understanding between military reservists and their civilian employers and to assist their military commitments.

Amazon and ArgenTech Solutions, Inc. are the two other Washington firms among the national Freedom Award finalists. The 15 national recipients will be announced in June.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,