The Office of the District Attorney, 18th Judicial District has been awarded the 2017 Freedom Award by the U.S. Department of Defense. It is the first time in the 22-year history of the award that it has gone to a District Attorney’s Office.
“This is an unprecedented and tremendous honor of which I am very proud. The work that this office does in supporting the men and women who choose to serve our country in the armed forces deserves recognition,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “I am proud to have created the most veteran- and military-friendly office in government, and I thank the award committee for recognizing that. We do all we can to ensure our office welcomes and encourages Guard and Reserve members in their service to our great nation.”
The award will be presented Aug. 25 at a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
This award is given annually to employers for their support of employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. Nominees represent large and small employers from almost every industry, as well as from state and local governments. A national selection board comprised of senior Department of Defense officials and business leaders select the award recipient, who “have gone above and beyond federal requirements in support of their military employees.”
This year there were 3,064 nominations nationwide. Fifteen awards were given. Among the 30 finalists, nine public sector employers competed to win the award in that category.
An organization can win the award only one time.
The nomination for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office cited the office for going above and beyond the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and providing exceptional benefits, compensation, leave practices, and support of all its active military members.
“From the day I was first sworn in as district attorney, I set a goal of creating the most veteran friendly government office around. This award is recognition of the accomplishment of that goal,” Brauchler said. “As a veteran of the Iraq war, and as a colonel in the Colorado Army National Guard, I know well the value these men and women bring to any organization.”
The office’s preference for — and recruitment of — military members is best demonstrated by the growing number of actively drilling Guard and Reserve service members. The DA’s Office has 85 prosecutors, and at the time DA Brauchler was elected, the office had no actively drilling Guard or Reserve employees. Today, including DA Brauchler, there are eight employees serving in the Guard or Reserve. All of those service members have served on active duty at least once since Sept. 11, 2001.
• District Attorney George Brauchler is a colonel in the Colorado Army National Guard
• Deputy District Attorney Rory Devlin is a captain in the Colorado Army National Guard• Chief Deputy District Attorney John Kellner is a major in the US Marine Corps Reserves
• Deputy District Attorney Gwenn Sandrock is a first lieutenant in the Colorado Army National Guard
• Deputy District Attorney Jonathan LeCount is a specialist in the Colorado Army National Guard
• Deputy District Attorney Monique Washington is a captain in the US Army Reserves
• Senior Deputy District Attorney Thomas Byrnes is a lieutenant commander in the US Navy Reserves
• Deputy District Attorney Adam Hepp is a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force Reserves