Fort McCoy News June 9, 2017

Fort McCoy among Army's top communities

cited for boosting force readiness

BY STACY A. OUELLETTE
Army News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The garrison commander of the Army's top installation equated his role to one of a town mayor: overseeing an interconnected community of people, places, and services.

U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Stuttgart was the top winner of the 2017 Army Communities of Excellence (ACOE) Awards for active-duty installations in a ceremony May 24 at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes.

The ACOE Awards honor the top active Army, National Guard, and Army Reserve installations that have achieved high levels of excellence in building a quality environment, outstanding facilities, and superior service.

(Left to right) Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, deputy Army chief of staff for G-1; Fort McCoy Garrison Commander David J. Pinter Sr.; Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Major Frank Matthias; Jeff Winkler and Mary Fries with the Fort McCoy Plans, Analysis, and Integration Office; and Installation Management Command Commanding General Lt. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl are pictured during the presentation of the Bronze Award to Fort McCoy during the 2017 Army Communities of Excellence Awards on May 24 at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes in Washington, D.C.
(Left to right) Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, deputy Army chief of
staff for G-1; Fort McCoy Garrison Commander David J. Pinter Sr.;
Command Sgt. Major Frank Mathias, garrison command sergeant
major; Jeff Winkler and Mary Fries with the Fort McCoy Plans,
Analysis, and Integration Office; and Installation Management
Command Commanding General Lt. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl are pictured
during the presentation of the Bronze Award to Fort McCoy during
the 2017 Army Communities of Excellence Awards on May 24 at the
Pentagon's Hall of Heroes in Washington, D.C.

"Soldiers, civilians, and Families depend on 156 installations around the globe and more than 1,100 community-based Guard and Reserve centers," said Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, deputy chief of staff.

"The Army's people are our most important weapons system and readiness is a priority. Each of you should be proud of your efforts, and today we recognize the communities who have gone above and beyond," he told the assembled crowd.

The 88th Regional Support Command, headquartered at Fort McCoy, Wis., took gold as a repeat winner in the Army Reserve category. The team has been using the Baldrige principles since standing up their command in 2008.

"We were fortunate to have our command stood up on the Baldrige principles, which gave us a head start in this competition, and we've won every year that we've been eligible," said Thomas Helgeson, deputy director of Public Works for the 88th RSC.

"It's never about the award for any of us and we are competing to make the organization better," he said. "It's an affirmation that if we do a good job, we're going to get recognized."

USAG Fort McCoy won bronze in the active-duty category.

"The 2017 Chief of Staff of the Army, Army Communities of Excellence award is a great reflection on the values based culture of the Team McCoy professionals," said Garrison Commander Col. David J. Pinter Sr. "Fort McCoy Garrison receiving the bronze in the active duty category demonstrates we have exceeded Army standards while constantly evaluating ways to improve.

"This year, Fort McCoy has two winners with the 88th RSC receiving the gold in the Army Reserve category," Pinter said. "Team McCoy is constantly seeking process improvements, along with workforce development and providing quality customer service to support mission readiness.

"The cornerstone to Team McCoy receiving the ACOE award is a well-led and managed organization that is dedicated and focused on executing our five year plan in concert with providing quality support to our customers."

This was the first time Stuttgart placed in the ACOE competition.

"We have a phenomenal team, and the beauty of it is the processes, strategic planning, and command philosophy were already in place." said Col. Glenn Dickenson, Stuttgart garrison commander, about his community winning gold.

The silver winner was Fort Rucker, Ala., home of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and the aviation branch. USAG Rucker hosts the largest helicopter flight training mission in the world, along with the myriad missions of 40 tenant organizations.

The garrison staff credited their award to an integrated management system based on the Malcolm Baldrige framework.
USAG Wainwright, Alaska, also was recognized with a bronze award.

USAG Daegu, South Korea, and USAG Fort Drum, N.Y., received honorable mentions.

The South Dakota National Guard was the gold recipient for its category after being runner up in 2016. According to the adjutant's general, Lt. Gen. Maj. Gen. Timothy Reisch, its goal was to take lessons learned and apply them to the 2017 competition. The South Dakota National Guard had the largest number of attendees at the ceremony.

"This was a true team effort from all the directorates from senior staff to their teams. I wanted to bring them all here to recognize their efforts," said Reisch. "This competition is about readiness. If you apply the principles and put them into practice, you'll learn that the investment has been very well placed."

Reisch added that his unit will submit another packet next year to keep them "sharp," although they are ineligible to compete on the Army level.

The North Carolina Army National Guard took the silver award.

The Indiana Army National Guard won bronze, and the Vermont Guard took honorable mention.
Helgeson is also the unit's ACOE program manager and makes it a point to share lessons learned with other Reserve units to help make the Army Reserve as a whole better. The unique challenge they face is being geographically dispersed across 19 states with elements located on active installations.

The Army Reserve silver award went to the 1st Mission Support Command at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. It provides support to 35 units across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

ACOE is sponsored by the chief of staff of the Army and overseen by the assistant chief of staff for Installation Management. During a yearlong process, ACOE applicants are assessed and evaluated against Army priorities and the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.

Since 1989, the ACOE program has recognized Army communities for their commitment to providing quality services and excellent support to readiness.

The ACOE awards competition goes beyond the trophy, ribbon, and monetary awards, several of the winners said. The competition is about strengthening the readiness of the Army, they said, by investing in the communities that support Soldiers, their Families, civilians, and their local partners.

   (Information contributed by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.)