PAO award winners
I am proud to announce that at the 2013 IMCOM-level competition, our Public Affairs team won eight awards, the most from an installation in the continental United States.

For nearly a year, I have officially been in charge of the Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office. It is such a rewarding experience to lead a diverse team of creative, talented and grammatically correct (for the most part) professionals.

At times, it has also been a challenge leading this team as many of my mentors in the field have told me, "Public Affairs is a very stressful job without much praise for a job well done."

In fact, our career field ranked sixth on CareerCast's list of the most stressful jobs in America for 2014. After all, when one of us makes a mistake; the whole world pretty much sees it. So today, I want to highlight our success.

Each year, our Public Affairs team competes in the Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs Competition, a competition that "recognizes Soldiers and Department of Army civilian employees for excellence in achieving the objectives of the Army Public Affairs Program."

The first part of the competition is to compete against installations throughout the Army through our major command, the Installation Management Command. Winners from the IMCOM-level competition represent their installation and IMCOM at the DA-level competition.

This year, I am proud to announce that at the 2013 IMCOM-level competition, our Public Affairs team won eight awards, the most from an installation in the continental United States.

The winners were chosen from more than 250 submissions in print, community relations and broadcast categories from garrisons around the world.

Entries from within the continental United States and outside the continental United States were judged separately. First-place winners from each CONUS and OCONUS will represent IMCOM in the Army-level competition.

Fort Leonard Wood's winners were:

-- first place for "Military Appreciation" Community Relations Program;

-- second place for "Major League Baseball Postseason" Community Relations Special Event;

-- second place for Outstanding Initiative in New Media;

-- third place for website/blog;

-- honorable mention for Melissa Buckley's series, "Trail to the tab;" -- second place for Melissa Buckley, Moss-Holland Civilian Print Journalist of the Year;

-- third place for Marti Yoshida's video news report, "Sapper memorial tribute;"

-- second place for Marti Yoshida's video feature report, "Explorers train with U.S. Army Soldiers."

The complete list of IMCOM's winners can be viewed at www.army.mil/article/121042/.

So to Dawn Arden, Matt Decker, Mike Bowers, Melissa Buckley, Derek Gean, Robert Johnson, Cheryl Nygaard, Shatara Seymour, Ryan Thompson and Marti, thank you for all that you do to tell the Fort Leonard Wood and Army story.

Last year we had an incredible year, I can't wait to see what we are capable of doing in 2014.

To those who work on Fort Leonard Wood, the next time you see a member of the Public Affairs Office at an event scribbling down notes frantically or trying to position themselves in the best spot to capture just the right photo, please thank them for a job well done.

And try not to be too hard on them the next time you notice they missed a comma, you?'re blinded by a flash or you get asked questions that seem obvious.

(Editor's note: Wood is the director of public affairs, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood.)

Page last updated Thu March 6th, 2014 at 00:00