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The Army National Guard (ARNG) Freedom Salute Campaign

What is it?
The Freedom Salute Campaign is one of the largest Army National Guard (ARNG) Soldiers recognition endeavors in history, designed to publicly acknowledge ARNG Soldiers and those who supported them during the during development to Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.

The campaign workers, predominantly volunteers, in many cases will schedule and plan a homecoming ceremony in a readiness center, armory, or similar setting where they can hang welcome banners and yellow ribbons and have a dynamic welcoming home event, with the expected noise, excitement, and joyful chaos.  Each Soldier is presented an American flag in a wood display case, a Defender of Freedom certificate, Defender of Freedom Medallion, and commemorative coins.

What has the ARNG done?
The Freedom Salute Campaign began in December 2003 and has recognized more than 100,000 deserving Soldiers, Family members, friends, employers, centers of influence, and other very important persons for their contributions since the terrorists attacks on September 11, 2001.

What does the ARNG have planned for the future?
The Freedom Salute Campaign leadership plans to continue this program into the foreseeable future. This program is not a “nice to have, or good thing to do”; it is a “must-have” and “must do well” program that will continue to have a positive impact on the recruiting and retention of our Soldiers.

Why is this important to Army?
The leadership of the ARNG considers the Freedom Salute Campaign first and foremost to be a retention program. The leadership recognizes that how an organization treats its people is a direct reflection of the values held by the organization. Parents, prospects, other Soldiers, and their Families watch closely how the ARNG honors returning Soldiers. Conducting these Freedom Salute Campaign programs is a wonderful opportunity to increase awareness in the community of the good work being done by ARNG Soldiers. Not only does Soldier recognition directly impact recruiting, but it affects Soldier retention as well. In a recent survey, Soldiers returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom indicated that recognition for their service and sacrifice was one of the most important contributing factors in their decision whether or not they would continue to serve in the Army Guard.

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