MCLEAN, Va. -- U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan's community relations officer earned Department of the Army recognition for excellence in his field April 1.
An Chang-sin received a third-place individual achievement award during the 2008 Worldwide Public Affairs Symposium at McLean, Va. Maj. Gen. Tony Cuculo, Army chief of public affairs, presented the award to An.
"To me, this is just how I do my job," An said. "For the Army to recognize me in this manner makes me feel happy."
An is responsible for planning, developing, advising, coordinating and implementing community relations programs that enhance the U.S. Army's image in the Yongsan Garrison and the Greater Seoul area, at K-16 Air Base in nearby Seongnam, and at Camp Market in the Bupyong area near Incheon, as well as several smaller outlying installations.
In fiscal 2007, An personally coordinated 63 community relations events for USAG Yongsan.
One of his focus areas is supporting the U.S. Forces Korea Good Neighbor Program as one of USFK Commander Gen. B.B. Bell's top priorities. This program is designed to foster a stronger relationship among Seoul's communities and Yongsan's organizations through such activities as cultural exchanges, military-to-military partnerships, combined training events, educator outreach programs, and Korean-American friendship councils.
"Mr. An engages university-age students, as well as primary and secondary school children, in our Good Neighbor activities," said Don Moses, deputy garrison commander. "He helps to create positive opinions about the U.S. Army."
An arranges visits to Yongsan Garrison by Korean English teachers and school children to increase understanding of American culture and the mission of the U.S. military and its role in the Alliance.
An also coordinates tours for Korean National Police officers. These tours help the KNP to better understand the U.S. community they are charged to protect.
"These events significantly enhance the community quality of life and cross-cultural
awareness," Moses said.
An also manages sponsorship for many community events by such Korean nongovernmental organizations as People-to-People International New Seoul Chapter, Korean-American Friendship Association and others. As a result, organizations contributed countless hours and more than $200,000 to support garrison activities with services, prizes and entertainment.
"Without their sponsorship, many community events simply would not have been possible," Moses said.
These events have included the annual Super Bowl Party, Korea-U.S. Soldier Appreciation Week activities, July 4th celebration, and the annual Fall Festival.
Garrison Commander Col. Dave Hall, said An's work, "has clearly assisted in enhancing the alliance. His efforts will pay friendship dividends for decades to come."
Other individual achievement awardees from Korea include 1st place winner Peter Yu, USAG-Humphreys and 2nd place winner No Won-hyon, 19th Sustainment Command.