|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.
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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.