ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (June 5, 2009) - June 2 marked the 5th Annual Chief of Staff of the Army, Combined Logistics Excellence Awards ceremony and banquet. Attended by nearly 500 Soldiers, civilians and family members, these two events recognized 95 units that excelled in deployment, supply and maintenance activities over the past year.

Hosted by the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Logistics, the ceremony and banquet unites three logistics-focused awards programs - the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence, the Supply Excellence Award and the Deployment Excellence Award. Each award has numerous categories to which units apply. This year, evaluators reviewed applications from nearly 300 units - a dramatic 17 percent increase from the previous year.

Lt. Gen. Mitchell Stevenson, the DCS for Logistics and the ceremony keynote speaker, told the awardees, "You represent the very best in logistics. When I look at this sea of Soldiers and civilians, I see not only 95 winners, but 550,000 boots on the ground who win by the work your units do every day to enhance Army readiness."

One of those winners included the Forward Support Company, 54th Engineer Battalion from Camp Stryker, Iraq. This unit won a Maintenance Excellence Award in the Small Unit, Modified Table of Organization and Equipment category, and also claims the status of being the first unit from an area of operation to win a CLEA.

"All the unit members from the battalion colonel on down have supported us in pursuing this award," said Sgt. Paul Carter, who accepted the award on behalf of his unit. "It's not a one person job, but the whole teams'. We hope other units will see what we've done and try to duplicate our work. It's not easy, but it is possible."

The 110-Soldier-strong company have supplied and supported nearly ten times their number during their 15-month deployment, which is coming to a close this summer. When the unit took over in Iraq, not only did they have an abundance of equipment to turn in, but they assumed responsibility for equipment that was different than what they trained on prior to deployment. In addition, the group had just undergone transformation to a modular unit before deployment, which changes the roles and missions of unit sections drastically. But throughout this turmoil, the Soldiers followed procedure, took heed of policy, and ultimately performed in an outstanding capacity - outstanding enough to earn a CLEA.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Kenneth Foster was the lead evaluator on the team that traveled to Iraq to review the Forward Support Company's operations.

"I was truly impressed with the Soldiers of the 54th," said Foster. "They were very professional and took their job seriously. I have yet to see a perfect unit, but they sure were doing a commendable job."

The Forward Support Company is going on to represent the Army in the Department of Defense Maintenance Awards in October.

The applications for the 2009 CLEAs are already rolling in. Both applicants and evaluators expect 2009 to be one of the biggest years yet in the history of these awards.

For more information on how your unit can apply to the Maintenance, Deployment or Supply Excellence Awards, visit the CLEA AKO Web site at: <A HREF=""></A> (user name and password required).

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16