FORT BRAGG, N.C. - More than 200 employees from Fort Bragg's many directorates packed the Lafayette Room of the Officers' Club Tuesday to participate in the post's 19th annual installation awards ceremony.
The 82nd Airborne Division Chorus
serenaded the audience with selective cadence and its renditions of Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American" and North Carolina native James Taylor's "Carolina in My Mind."
The ceremony marked the last event for Civilian Personnel Advisory Center director Ronna Garrett, who departed for her new job at Fort McPherson, Ga., following the ceremony. Garrett welcomed guests and introduced the command group representatives, who were in attendance.
She explained that the selection committee changed this year's format to ensure that each category had more than one nominee, allowing judges to choose from a larger field before selecting a winner.
"We tried to broaden that this year, re-vamped it and we're calling it 'drive for diversity,'" Garrett explained. "We have individual and team (nominees). In addition to that, we've added an organizational award, which recognized organizations that go above and beyond in returning civilian employees back to work under the workers' compensation program."
She added that the criteria for that award included: number of employees returned to work, thinking outside the box, total cost avoidance and total number of Department of Defense candidates placed under the Federal Employees Compensation Act program returned to work.
The program, which is commonly called the "Fort Bragg Oscars" is actually a fun event that features bells, whistles, clappers and sirens to recognize the candidates from the many different directorates.
"This is a very competitive process," Garrett said as she addressed the crowd. "Every year, I truly delight in watching everyone make noise and rally around the nominees and the winners.
"It's a true sign to recognize the teams and the individuals for both, being nominated and winning," she added.
During this year's ceremony, as each nominee was announced, their photo was displayed on one of five large projection screens throughout the room. Before each category winner was announced, the Army star was displayed, followed by the announcement and photo of the winning nominee.
The ceremony, which also included lunch, lasted for about two hours. XVIII Airborne Corps Deputy Commanding General Brig. Gen. Nicolas Matern gave the closing remarks, thanking all of the participants for their service.
"General Austin did ask me to leave you with one thing," Matern said. "What he wanted me to do here this afternoon is to thank you all. Not on behalf of himself, but on behalf of all the warfighters that are out there.
"He said, 'listen, the nominees and the winners here today are members of the Army team,'" Matern quoted Austin as saying. "'I really consider this an integrated team. The winners and all the others that supported them epitomize dedicated support to our Army, our Soldiers and their Families.'"

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