Crystal Group Receives Secretary of Defense Freedom Award for Support of National Guard and Reserve

HIAWATHA, Iowa — Crystal Group Inc., a designer/manufacturer of rugged computer and electronic hardware, in Hiawatha, Iowa, is proud to announce that it is one of 15 recipients of the 2018 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, which is the highest U.S. government honor to employers for their support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office, initiated the Freedom Award in 1972. Since then, the award has been given to only 250 employers. Each year up to 15 companies and government agencies who go above and beyond the federal requirements to hire and retain military reservists are selected for the award. For 2018, Guardsmen and Reservists or their families submitted more than 2,350 nominations.

Crystal Group’s winning nomination this year was submitted by Zach Kuehl, IT support technician. Zach is a First Sergeant in the Army National Guard.

“We are extremely proud of this recognition,” said Crystal Group president Scott Kongable. “Our company is committed to providing a supportive work environment for active service members like Zach, and for all our veterans. They bring a diverse and broad background to our workplace and are valued colleagues for many reasons.”

Freedom Award recipients will be honored in a ceremony with Secretary of Defense Mattis at the Pentagon on August 24, 2018.

About Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
Established in 1972, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense agency that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. Information on ESGR can be found at

About Crystal Group Inc.
Crystal Group Inc., a technology leader in rugged computer hardware, specializes in the design and manufacture of custom and commercial rugged servers, embedded computing, networking devices, displays, power supplies, and data storage for high reliability in harsh environments. An employee-owned small business founded in 1987, Crystal Group provides the defense, government and industrial markets with in-house customization, engineering, integration, configuration management, product lifecycle planning, warranty, and support services.