by Tisha Johnson, Triad Contributor
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Fort Leavenworth played host
Oct. 22-29 to about 50 examiners serving on the awards board for the
Army Communities of Excellence (ACOE) competition. The board members
spent a week reviewing packets submitted by four installations for the
fiscal 2006 ACOE Award competition.
"The Army Communities of Excellence Program is an awards
program used to recognize excellence in Installation Management
environments," said ACOE Program Manager Rosye Faulk. Faulk is
with Installation Management Agency (IMA) headquarters.
The annual awards program focuses on installations that provide
facilities and support services to Army family members and civilians,
The process began with 32 installations filing an intent to
apply. Of those, 14 submitted a packet in August. After an initial
paring down, four of the packets were forwarded through to the ACOE
awards board phase.
Installations making the top four were Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort
Stewart, Ga., Fort A.P. Hill, Va., and White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
Fort Stewart was the Department of Defense and Army ACOE winner for
Other installations in the top 14 were the 6th Area Support
Group, Stuttgart, Germany; 222nd Base Support Battalion (BSB),
Baumholder, Germany; 280th BSB, Schweinfurt, Germany; 282nd BSB,
Hohenfels, Germany; 415th BSB, Kaiserslautern, Germany; Fort Hood,
Texas; Fort McCoy, Wis.; Area IV Support Activity, Camp Henry, South
Korea; Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa.; and U.S. Army Garrison Japan, Camp
"The awards board phase is really the critical step in the
entire process," Faulk said.
Top Army and civilian examiners gather in one location and pore
over the packets in preparation for the site visit in November, Faulk
"Primarily, the folks involved have a lot of analytical
skills," she said "They are bringing a lot to the
The examiners spent the first day attending a calibration and
score alignment session to make sure all teams are aligned to look at
things in the same way, Faulk said. The examiners then spent the rest
of the week in their team units and were not allowed to discuss the
packets with anyone else. An installation's chances are completely
based on the application, she said.
After the site visits, the final judging process will be in
December and from there recommendations will be packaged and sent to
the assistant chief of staff for Installation Management in January
2006. The award ceremony is scheduled May 2006 at the Pentagon and is
hosted by the chief of staff of the Army.
The first-place winner receives $2 million, second place $1
million and third place $750,000. The award money is to be used for
quality-of-life improvements at the installations. Faulk said the
money cannot be diverted or used for mission purposes.
"At the end of the day, IMA's desire is that we create an
environment of excellence where Soldiers and their family members are
proud and really feel like we are their hometown -- that every
garrison becomes a hometown for our Soldiers and their families,"
IMA is committed to driving continuous improvement programs,
she said. The programs are a necessity to meet the present and future
demands of the Army.
"The awards program of ACOE is really the capstone that
recognizes those garrisons that have already embraced continuous
improvement and have reached a role model status," Faulk said.
Fort Leavenworth volunteered to host the awards board event
this year and Faulk said it showed commitment and willingness to be a
part of the program. She said there was tremendous effort from the
local staff to support the event.
"The planning took place months before the team ever got
here and it showed the capabilities of Fort Leavenworth and how well
equipped they are to support this type of event," Faulk said.
After putting out a call for volunteers to host the event Faulk
said it was easy to choose Fort Leavenworth.
"Garrisons can provide services on par or that exceed
private-sector excellence," Faulk said.
(Johnson is a staff writer for the Fort Leavenworth Lamp.)