Freedom Team Salute
What is it? Freedom Team Salute (FTS) is an outreach program that recognizes and honors those who have answered the "Call to Duty." The program includes all Army veterans and those who support today's Soldiers: spouses, parents, and the civilian employers of Guard and Reserve Soldiers.
Those nominated for a Freedom Team Salute receive:
- A letter of thanks from the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army
- A certificate of appreciation, suitable for framing, signed by the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army
- An official Army lapel pin
- An official Army decal
- Periodic updates on the Army (beginning in 2006)
Beginning in 2006, recipients will also receive periodic updates about their Army.
What has the Army done? The program has provided nomination opportunities to tens of thousands of Americans at public events, veteran service organization events, 30 Army installations, and on the web.
- FTS has recognized more than 325,000 Army veterans and supporters since the program's launch in May 2005. The FTS staff is currently processing an additional 600,000 commendations.
- In observance of Veterans Day 2005, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 306 recognizing the contributions of Army veterans and supporting the FTS mission to "recognize the unsung heroes who have served this country."
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? Freedom Team Salute is continuing its robust yet cost-effective outreach efforts to ensure visibility of this important program within the Army and among Army veterans and the American public. Efforts to recognize supporters of our Soldiers as well as Army veterans continue. The program focuses on Army lifecycle integration and strategic partnerships. Lifecycle integration includes providing Soldiers with opportunities to recognize those who support them at numerous points in their military service, from initial entry training through retirement. Strategic partnerships help us identify and honor Army veterans through outreach to veteran service organizations, the Veterans Administration, military associations, and many other interested groups. A new FTS Ambassador program encourages FTS recipients and other interested individuals to identify and recognize still more people for recognition. Through these efforts, FTS expects to surpass one million recipients by October 1, 2006.
Why is this important to the Army? FTS provides multiple benefits to the Army itself, strengthening the Army community by providing a vehicle to:
- Strengthen the relationship between Soldiers and their support networks
- Connect with Army veterans, providing a catalyst for them to tell their Army story. Soldiers' ability to accomplish the mission depends on a strong support network. Freedom Team Salute allows Soldiers to recognize and honor those who support them. FTS allows anyone to recognize and honor Army veterans for their dedicated service and continued support of today's Soldiers.
- Recognize civilian employers of the National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers. These Employers make sacrifices to allow their colleagues to answer the "Call to Duty."
"In these demanding times, the support of families and employers gives our Soldiers strength and security while they are protecting our Nation. Freedom Team Salute provides Soldiers with an excellent opportunity to salute those at home and to thank them for their continued support and encouragement."
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