Salt River Project has been recognized for the critical role it plays in our nation’s defense. 

Tempe-based SRP doesn’t manufacture tanks or warplanes.  It isn’t on the front lines of cyberwarfare.  It doesn’t ship troops to and from deployments. Instead, SRP plays its role by supporting its military employees, enabling them to serve our nation.

For the organization’s above-and-beyond support for its military employees, SRP has been named one of 15 recipients for the Department of Defense’s highest employer award, the 2017 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

This year’s recipients were selected from 3,064 nominations submitted by Guardsmen and Reservists.  The group represents large and small employers from almost every industry, as well as from state and local governments. ESGR received nominations for employers in all 50 states, Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

SRP, the only 2017 Freedom Award winner or finalist from Arizona, provides military employees full pay and benefits up to a rolling two years. SRP has also established the Joint Apprenticeship Corporate Committee, which authorizes additional hiring points only available to National Guard, Reserve and veteran apprenticeship candidates.

The organization strives to make life easier for the families of its deployed military employees, holding dinner nights for spouses, and offering help with tasks such as lawn work, painting, auto repair and more. SRP’s CEO, General Manager Mark Bonsall, personally calls deployed employees to check on their well-being and to assure them that their jobs are secure.

Salt River Project will receive the Freedom Award in a Pentagon ceremony Aug. 25. SRP is the largest provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, providing service to more than 1 million customers.  SRP also is the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 800,000 acre-feet annually to agricultural, urban and municipal water users.

For this year’s complete list of recipients, visit