Fort Rucker recognized as best in Army, DOD
November 21, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Nov. 21, 2013) -- Fort Rucker formally received its honors -- the 2013 Gold Chief of Staff of the Army Communities of Excellence Award and the Commander in Chief's Award for Installation Excellence -- that it earned in March during a ceremony Nov. 14, at the post theater.
The Commander in Chief's Award for Installation Excellence is awarded to installations that demonstrate exemplary support for the department of defense mission, and show continuous improvement and innovation in processes that are fundamental to successful operations, according to the ceremony's program.
The Army Communities of Excellence Gold Award recognizes the highest level of excellence in installation management. Fort Rucker earned both of these awards for the 2011-2012 timeframe.
In addition, special recognition certificates from the secretary of defense were also given out to departments, and to the men and women of the garrison, support agencies and tenant organizations.
Winning the award means more than getting national recognition, though, according to Col. Stuart J. McRae, garrison commander.
"The ACOE Gold award recognizes the installation, across the entire Army, whose performance system and workforce interact with each other better than every other installation. The way in which Fort Rucker takes care of our Soldiers, family members and civilians is recognized at the chief of staff of the Army level, [and is] the best in the Army," he said.
The installation is a first-time recipient of the Gold award for installation excellence. In the commander's narrative portion of the package, highlights of different things the garrison has done and improvements Fort Rucker has made in the last year are laid out.
"Some of our improvements [were] in quality of life, energy, unit morale, communications, and safety and health," said Cynthia Ranchino, lead plans specialist, Plans, Analysis and Integration Office.
The voice of the customer, along with the day-to-day laborers combined is what made the achievement possible, said Davis D. Tindoll Jr., Installation Management Command Atlantic Region director.
"Not only did you win the best Army community, but you also won the Commander in Chief award, which signifies you as the best community in the Department of Defense. It is quite significant," he said. "It is not just an Army garrison that won this award. This award is won by a team of teams."
McRae agreed that it is truly a team win for everyone on Fort Rucker.
"Individual superstars do not make a winning team if the team as a whole doesn't play well together. At Fort Rucker, although we have many superstars, we work well together as a team," he said. "When we came on board, we established a coin that had on the back of it, 'One Team.' On that coin we have the patch symbols for every tenant activity on this installation. We did that because we are one team . . . and your importance to the mission is not dictated by your proximity to the battlefield -- that goes for everyone in here."
Military installations are taking budget cuts, but it is how those budget cuts are handled and how a garrison is able to continue to provide services for its workers that helps decide who wins, said Ranchino.
"It has taken years of continued excellence that has allowed Fort Rucker to achieve this," said Tindoll. "You truly are above the best, but remember to always continue on with this excellence."
This award is bigger than Fort Rucker, said Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, adding that it takes a community to make Fort Rucker a great place to live, work and raise a family.
"It takes expectations and a standard of excellence to achieve this award and it takes people at the point of delivery. It takes Soldiers and families who demand the best and raise the bar. It takes units that are doing their very best to turn out their great product every day," he said to the audience during the ceremony. "It is the culture, it is the climate, it is the expectation, and I am proud to serve with and alongside each and every one of you. Thanks for making this happen."