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May 27, 2011  


2011 ACOE competition recognizes
88th RSC, McCoy Garrison

Members of Fort McCoy work force accomplished a rare achievement when installation organizations received Army Communities of Excellence (ACOE) recognition in the Army Reserve and installation categories at an April 19 ceremony in San Antonio.

The 88th Regional Support Command (RSC) was one of two finalists in the Army Reserve category. The U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) at Fort McCoy received honorable mention recognition in the installation category.
PHOTO: The 88th Regional Support Command accepts ACOE awards. Contributed photo
Rosemary Denman (second from left), Chief of Staff for the 88th Regional Support Command, and Maj. Gen. Glenn Lesniak, 88th RSC Commanding General and Fort McCoy Senior Commander, accept ACOE awards from Katherine Hammack, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment, and Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, Installation Management Command Commanding General and Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management.

The ACOE competition is modeled after the Malcolm Baldridge criteria for performance excellence. These criteria include strategic planning, identifying and reviewing performance measurements, developing and assessing action plans, identifying and reviewing processes, enhancing customer engagement, maximizing work force potential, and execution with positive results.

Senior installation leaders said they hope to build on the momentum gained from the competition to further improve the installation’s ability to support customers who rely on Fort McCoy for support.

Maj. Gen. Glenn Lesniak, Fort McCoy’s Senior Commander and the Commanding General of the 88th Regional Support Command (RSC), and Russell Hall, Director of Installation Management Command’s Northeast Region, were on hand at the ACOE ceremony in San Antonio to lend support. Lesniak and Rosemary Denman, the Chief of Staff for the 88th RSC, accepted the 88th RSC’s ACOE awards.

The 88th RSC received a “Silver” trophy, an ACOE flag and notification of $500,000 in ACOE funds, Denman said. The organization won’t receive the funds until fiscal year 2012 and will decide at a later date how to spend them in accordance with ACOE guidelines, she said. The 88th RSC received $250,000 in funds from the previous year’s ACOE competition.
“We have a very large command, which covers 19 states,” Denman said. “We choose projects to support our entire community.”

The command was activated at Fort McCoy in September 2008 as a result of a 2005 Base Realignment and Closure decision. The organization has two primary missions: provide mission-essential base operations support for stakeholders within the Northwest region in support of the Army Reserve operational force and command and control for six Army bands, 46 vehicle and equipment maintenance facilities and for other units as directed.

PHOTO: Fort McCoy Garrison Commander and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. accept an ACOE Award. Contributed photo
Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser (second from left) and Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr., accept an ACOE award from Katherine Hammack and Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch.

“During its relatively short existence, the 88th RSC’s commitment and investment in continuous improvement results has been core to its ethos,” Denman said. “The command is passionate in implementing the Malcolm Baldrige criteria for performance excellence.”

Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser and Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr. accepted the Fort McCoy Garrison’s ACOE trophy. The competition marked the sixth time Fort McCoy has been honored in the competition, including a first-place overall award in 1995.

“This was a crowning achievement during what has thus far been a remarkable year of accomplishments,” Chesser said. “You’re always proud as a commander when you’re called upon to accept such a prestigious award for the command. The ACOE award demonstrates that we’re a high-performing organization, and we’re being recognized accordingly.”

In addition to the ACOE recognition, Fort McCoy won the IMCOM Northeast Regional Philip A. Connelly award for Food Service Program excellence and the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence (Medium Category) this year. Chesser went on to state the Fort McCoy Garrison has been nominated for the Army Superior Unit Award for its operations in 2010 and should receive word by this fall if the award is approved.

Fort McCoy will use the feedback it received from the ACOE competition to continually improve its business process and operations so that it remains a high-performing organization and a valued member of the Department of the Army. Chesser said that will, in turn, lead to the installation’s continued relevancy to the Department of Defense.

“This ultimately leads to — I’ve talked about this at town halls — job security,” Chesser said. “And it ensures our economic impact in the local economy for now and well into the future.”

Chesser said the installation’s journey to compete in the overall Armywide ACOE competition was one of the more remarkable Fort McCoy stories of the year, and one the work force can take a great deal of pride in.

Originally, Fort McCoy was assigned to compete in the ACOE Army Reserve category, but requested to be placed in the installation category. Although the Garrison would have likely performed well in the Reserve category, Fort McCoy wanted to see how it ranked against the other 157 installations in the Installation Management Command (IMCOM), Chesser said.

Based on Fort McCoy’s request, IMCOM reversed the decision, but only gave the Garrison three days to complete a Campaign Plan Employee Assessment (CPEA), while the normal time to complete it was two weeks.

“But with all that adversity we still produced remarkable results,” Chesser said. “I want to thank the Garrison work force for their efforts in completing the survey and giving us their honest opinion of our implementation of the Installation Management Campaign Plan (IMCP) and our own Strategic Business Plan.”

Enough CPEAs were completed to ensure the installation had statistically relevant data and could enter the competition. Chesser added the Garrison scored 568 points out of a possible 600 on the CPEA ranking Fort McCoy fourth among all participating IMCOM installations. The Garrison was ranked seventh among participating installations on IMCP implementation.

Based on the Garrison’s overall performance in the ACOE competition, Fort McCoy was selected as one of 12 finalists for ACOE honors out of 158 installations. The top installation received a gold award, while two silver and three bronze recipients were recognized. Six of the remaining finalists, including Fort McCoy, were recognized with honorable mention.

“So, very high praise for Fort McCoy,” Chesser said. “Our results show that we are a mature organization with well-established and consistently effective approaches for implementing the IMCP and our own Strategic Business Plan to ensure successful delivery of Base Operations Support. There was a remarkable statement in the ACOE Feedback Report. It stated that USAG Fort McCoy is one of the highest-rated garrisons on the employee assessment and that our weakest scores were better than the strongest scores for most other garrisons. That pretty well sums up our performance and is a statement that all members of the work force can be proud of.”

The Wisconsin Army National Guard also was honored in the National Guard ACOE competition, finishing second to West Virginia, which made Fort McCoy and Wisconsin the only installation and state to be recognized in the ACOE competition in all three categories (installation, Army Reserve and National Guard) of the competition.

“It speaks well to the work ethic in the state of Wisconsin,” Chesser said. Chesser said the garrison will compete in the ACOE competition in the Army installation category next year and he went on to state that he expects Fort McCoy will earn recognition again. The installation uses the feedback it gets from the competition to continually improve business operations and thus provide better customer support, he said.

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