The U.S. Army will present eight Quality of Life Awards Oct. 7 at the 2008 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The awards will be presented during a 20-minute ceremony at the end of the second of three Family Forums, "Strengthening Soldiers and Families Through Community Partnership."

These awards culminate efforts achieved over the past year as a result of the Army Family Covenant and the Soldier Family Action Plan. "These two programs reflect the Army's commitment to provide Soldiers and their families with Quality of Life commensurate with their service to the Nation," Secretary Geren said.

The ceremony will acknowledge the innovations and best practices of commanders from all garrisons and units from all components

The awardees are:

1. Quality of Life Award for Communications Excellence: US Army Garrison, Fort Hood, Texas. Fort Hood created the marketing campaign Get Out On Fort Hood (GOOF off) to promote programs and services created as a result of the Army Family Covenant.

2. Quality of Life Award for Best Practices, US Army Garrison: Grafenwoehr, Germany.
For less than $100, Grafenwoehr developed a program called "Dumping Debt During
Deployments," a financial education program designed to educate the Total Army Family
while Soldiers are deployed, and to take advantage of the extra funds earned through the

3. Command Team Quality of Life Award (HONORABLE MENTION): US Army Garrison, Fort Lewis, Washington. Fort Lewis Commander directed the formation of, and personally chaired, monthly Operational Planning Team (OPT) to address the Summer Surge known as "Perfect Storm 2008."

4. Command Team Quality of Life Award: Military Intelligence Readiness Command.
The Commanding General, BG Leslie A. Purser, personally took on the task of establishing a Family Programs Office to ensure the initiatives contained in the Army Family Covenant were delivered to Soldiers and their Families across the Reserve Command.

5. Quality of Life Partnership Award: US Army Garrison, Fort Riley, Kansas. Fort Riley established monthly Community Partnership Conferences between Fort Riley leaders and leaders from the Greater Fort Riley Community to bring together people who have influence in the region in order to leverage resources in five areas directly related to Soldier and Family Quality of Life. Attendance at these conferences has doubled since February.

6. Superior Quality of Life Award (Medium Installation): US Army Garrison, Mannheim, Germany. The USAG Mannheim Garrison Command Team has demonstrated their commitment to giving their residents quality facilities in return for their dedication to the U.S. Army, and making Soldier and Family Quality of Life commensurate with their sacrifices and service.

7. Superior Quality of Life Award (Small Installation): US Army Garrison, Brussels.
The Brussels Information Fair provides information to garrison residents pertaining to essential services that are only available off post. The ease and quality of information provided at these Fairs improves the Quality of Life for the Soldiers and Families assigned to USAG Brussels.

8. Superior Quality of Life Award (Large Installation): US Army Garrison, Wiesbaden, Germany. Through the Warrior programs, Adopt-a-Room, Adopt-a-Soldier, Eagle Card, and Employment Connection programs, the garrison has obtained "no cost to the government" decorations to rooms in the Warrior Transition Units (WTUs), established opportunities for WTUs to connect with a sponsor for personal interaction, provided Warriors in Transition and their Families discounts and free events, and provided Soldiers meaningful employment that is mentally stimulating and promotes healing. These efforts have demonstrated a significant enhancement to the Quality of Life for Soldiers and Families within WTUs.

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