Case Study: Ford and the Military
Ford has a long history of supporting the military – dating back to at least 1922, when Henry Ford organized a caravan of 50 Model Ts to take disabled World War I veterans to a convention in San Francisco. And during World War II, the Company shut down civilian vehicle production to dedicate all of our resources to the Allied war efforts.
Today, we continue to support our military, and, in particular, those members of the military whom we also employ. In September 2011, Ford was honored with the Employer Support Freedom Award – the U.S. Department of Defense’s highest recognition given to companies for support of employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve. Ford was one of 15 companies nationwide selected for the award, out of nearly 4,100 nominations.
We received a total of six nominations from our own Guard and Reserve employees. One of those nominations came from Todd Brooks, a Ford engineering supervisor who was serving in the Navy Reserve. “There is an incredible untold story of compassion, commitment and corporate leadership that Ford Motor Company has been quietly providing to the nation’s veterans for years,” said Brooks, who was selected as the Navy Reserve Reservist of the Year in 2007. “Ford makes service to our country much easier. From senior leadership all the way down the ladder, they understand the necessity of the citizen soldier and the difficulties their loved ones face as a result of their commitment.”
Many Americans don’t realize that when an individual is called for National Guard or Reserve duty, they often take a cut in pay, thus intensifying the hardship for the military members and their families. At Ford, we have agreed to make up that pay difference for any of our military Reserve and National Guard employees when called to active duty following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Ford has approximately 700 National Guard and Reserve employees – about 30 of them on active duty. Overall, we have some 7,000 veterans at Ford and a strong Veterans Network Group that provides year-round support for military members and their families – both within Ford and within our communities.
Since 1974, Ford Motor Company and the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services have contributed more than $6 million to veterans’ organizations, including Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Ford has donated funds for the purchase of more than 150 vehicles to DAV for their Transportation Network and sponsors the organization’s annual winter sports clinic. (See the Communities section for more on our support of veterans’ groups.)
The Fund recently began partnering with the Honor Flight Network, a nationwide program that transports World War II veterans to see their memorial in Washington, DC, free of charge. In November 2011, we sponsored a flight for more than 30 veterans from the Detroit area. In 2012, we plan to sponsor another flight out of Detroit and a flight out of Louisville, Kentucky, on the anniversary of D-Day (June 6).
Ford has been a partner of the American Red Cross for more than 30 years, contributing to the critical efforts of the Red Cross in disaster relief. In 2012, Ford will build on this partnership with support for the Red Cross’s “Service to the Armed Forces” programs. These programs support members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans and their families on 58 military installations and medical facilities around the world and through a network of Red Cross chapters. In 2011, Red Cross workers provided nearly 400,000 services to military members, veterans and their families. Ford’s contributions will provide scholarships and other services to military spouses and families.
Another way we support our military isn’t as an employer, but as a seller of vehicles. Our Military Appreciation Program provides members of the military with an opportunity to receive a $500 bonus cash offer good toward the purchase or lease of any eligible new Ford or Lincoln car, truck or SUV.