USAACE wins 9 Best of AKO awards
January 10, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 10, 2013) -- At the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, excellence is a term that has become synonymous with Aviation, but those on Fort Rucker who work to maintain the Army Knowledge Online website have come to be familiar with the term as well.
Of the 24 sites selected for the Best of AKO awards, nine were USAACE sites -- a feat that no other organization could match, according to Patsy Brown, USAACE knowledge management AKO specialist.
"No other single organization got anywhere close to that many recognized for their work," said Brown, who worked with many of those recognized.
The silver and bronze awards were presented to many organizations and units on Fort Rucker in various categories.
Silver award winners include: 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, U.S. Army Aviation Tactical Operations Course site; 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt., Aviation pre command course site; and Directorate of Training and Doctrine, Tactical Operation Officers site.
Bronze award winners include: 1st Bn., 13th Avn. Regt., Army Operational Test Command site; 1st Bn., 145th Avn. Regt., Aviation Maintenance Officer Course site; and the USAACE NCO Academy site, which took the bronze for Best of AKO 2012.
Other awards include: 1st Aviation Brigade, for Best Web Viewer Channel; and USAACE NCO Academy, for Best Online Survey and Best Web Viewer.
For many involved with the design and maintenance of the sites, the wins came as a complete but welcome surprise.
"It was very unexpected and I'm just happy that we got recognized," said CW4 James Neal, U.S. Army Aviation TACOPS course chief and site administrator. "All we wanted to do was streamline the prerequisite criteria that all students have to accomplish prior to getting here, and we got an award for it."
The TACOPS course information has been pushed onto its AKO site so that students coming into the course can visit the site and fill out any prerequisite papers before setting foot in the course, according to Neal.
Although the site administrators do a lot of work to maintain the sites and keep them up to date, the award winners have said that the recognition should be shared among all that are involved.
"It's all been a collaborative effort," said Scotty Ray, Aviation pre-command course chief and administrator for the AKO site. "I didn't even know there were any awards and it's good that we won some of them, but it's just something that we have to do out of necessity.
"This is an indicator to the commanders that we are doing something right and that the site is being used and recognized," he said. "But it's not something we could have done alone."
CW4 Michael Lassiter, Aviation Maintenance Officer Course branch chief, agreed.
"For me, it's about trying to make something work. To get this kind of recognition feels pretty good, but I wasn't doing it for any kind of recognition," he said. "I was doing it to help us do our job, and like [Ray] said, we couldn't have done it without help."
The support that most of the AKO site maintainers and developers got came from the AKO team at the USAACE Command Information Office, which includes Brown, Shelley Bolin, CIO/G6 help desk specialist, and Kiara Ravenel, CIO/G6 help desk specialist.
Ravenel's main responsibility is to create and maintain group permissions and folder structure for the unit's and organization's AKO sites, and Bolin's responsibilities include designing, creating and implementing HTML web pages for the brigades and battalions.
"I can't take the credit myself for what we've done for the site," said Ray. "A lot of the credit goes to Patsy, Mrs. Bolin and those that helped us throughout the process. There always has to be someone here to maintain it and I'm just here to keep it maintained, and none of this could have happened without their help."