Anniston Army Depot, Ala. -- Anniston Army Depot was recognized as one of 148 finalists for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor the U.S. government gives to employers for their outstanding support of employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

In December, State Chairman of the Alabama Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Dr. Bill Kringel, traveled to the depot to present Col. Timothy Sullivan, the depot commander, with the Freedom Award finalist certificate. In addition to that certificate, the depot received the 2011 Pro Patria award, which recognized leadership practices and personnel policies that provide the greatest support to employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

The depot was amongst 148 semi-finalists and one of only three Alabama victors. Other Alabama semi-finalists are Systems Technology Co. in Huntsville and Auburn University.

Master Sgt. Dennis King, a Directorate of Community and Family Activities employee, nominated the depot. He spent a year in Afghanistan in 2009.

At the presentation, Kringel noted some of the support rendered to including telephone calls, care packages, and departure ceremonies. "Although the depot is a key Army installation, it is also a supporting employer to many Guard and Reserve members," he said.