By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterMay 23, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 23, 2013) -- In a team effort, Fort Rucker came together as one to achieve the Army Community of Excellence Award Gold, and although the trophy isn't yet in the installation's hands, those directly involved were honored during a ceremony May 20.
Directors and personnel from the various organizations on Fort Rucker were honored at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum during a ceremony where Davis D. Tindoll, Installation Management Command Atlantic Region director, personally came to show his appreciation for what the installation achieved.
"I wanted to take this opportunity to come today just to tell you how proud I am for what you all have accomplished here," he said during the ceremony. "This is not an easy feat, and if you stop and think about it, if every installation in the Army could win only one time before changing it over, you wouldn't be able to win it for another 75 years."
Tindoll, who was a former garrison commander at Fort Rucker, said that while he was here, he started an initiative to form a team to put together ACOE packets so that, one day, Fort Rucker could be recognized as one of the best, and he was not disappointed.
"This award is not achieved by a garrison commander or the command sergeant major, or even the directors," he said. "It's done by everyone -- it's done by individuals."
Each person has an impact, he said. From the security guards at the gates to the people that work at the various Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities.
"It takes the community to win this," said Tindoll. "It's Family that won [this award] and it takes everybody as a team to do it."
Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander, was also on hand to show his appreciation to the garrison for the achievement.
"It's been a long time coming for Fort Rucker," he said. "Many of us, including Mr. Tindoll, are aware of the great amount of talent that we have here at Fort Rucker. What an awesome group of people we have here.
"When you grow up in the Army, you mostly see people in [Army combat uniforms] and on occasion you get to interact with civilians, but when you're in a job like mine, you get the opportunity to mix with those [people] every day," continued McRae. "I get to see the huge amount of initiative and great amount of work that you all take on … and I've seen people in this garrison take on more than just their share."
Although it's quite an honor to receive an award like this, McRae said the recognition that it has brought only serves to help the Fort Rucker team take it to the next level.
"This is a golden opportunity for us to make this installation even tighter and build a team of teams, and the ACOE gives us the opportunity to develop even further," he said.
Although the installation can't win the award two years in a row, Tindoll challenged Fort Rucker to bring the award back to the installation when it is eligible once again.
"Whether or not you keep [that excellence] is up to you, and I have faith that you can do that," he said. "There is a thread here at Fort Rucker. The thread of continued excellence and you have the ingredients to take it to the next level."
Before the ceremony ended, McRae presented Tindoll with the second cast of Sgt. Ted E. Bear ever awarded in appreciation for everything he's contributed to the installation.
"He kind of set things in motion while he was here and it culminated into this recognition, and we wanted to take a moment to pass on something to you and the special relationship you have with Fort Rucker," he said.
In addition to the ACOE Gold award, Fort Rucker also received the 2013 Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence, according to a May 20th article by the American Forces Press Service.
"The award recognizes the outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations," said Pentagon officials according to the article. "The five recipients were selected for their exemplary support of Defense Department missions."
Fort Rucker will receive a commemorative commander in chief's award trophy and flag, along with a congratulatory letter from the president.