American Water Awarded 2020 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award from Department of Defense

American Water (NYSE: AWK), the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, announced today it was awarded the 2020 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award (Freedom Award) by the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Program. The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their support of employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve.

American Water, along with 14 other recipients, was selected from 2,623 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists highlighting how their civilian employers went far beyond what the federal law requires to support them. The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the ESGR program to recognize exceptional employer support, with only 295 honorees to date. American Water is the first publicly traded water and wastewater services company to receive the Freedom Award.

"American Water is honored to be recognized by the Department of Defense for the Employer Support Freedom Award," said Walter Lynch, American Water President and CEO and graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. "There is no greater honor than serving our great country and supporting the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. We are proud and privileged to have them on our team, as we continue to keep life flowing, by providing essential services to nearly 15 million Americans, including active military personnel living and working on 16 military installations, across the country.”

A formal ceremony is typically held at the Pentagon, including a proclamation by the President; however, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, American Water will receive the American Eagle Trophy presented by Mr. Don Tretola, State Chair, New Jersey ESGR State Committee, in a future ceremony held at its Camden, New Jersey headquarters.

American Water was also recently recognized by U.S. Veterans Magazine as a Top Veteran-Friendly Company and for its Top Supplier Diversity Program and for the third year in a row as a top 100 Best for Vets Employers by Military Times Magazine.

For more information about the Freedom Award and this year’s recipients, visit

About American Water

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About ESGR

ESGR is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for Service members in the Reserve Components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. It also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.


Joseph Szafran
External Affairs Manager, American Water

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