CAMP ZAMA, Japan (June 24, 2013) -- Installation Management Command Pacific Regional Director Debra D. Zedalis presented U.S. Army Garrison Japan with the Army Communities of Excellence silver award June 24 during a ceremony, at USAG-J headquarters here.

"Kudos to the whole team," Zedalis told those in attendance at the event.

The ACOE is an annual competition that is based on the principle that communities support people best by combining excellent services with excellent facilities in a quality environment.

Zedalis said three things will push an installation to the finish line: truth proven through connections, art that brings forth a picture and customer service.

USAG-J is the only overseas garrison to be honored in the ACOE competition this year. This award marks USAG-J's second consecutive ACOE win, following a bronze ACOE win last year.

"No one expects you to go from nothing to the No. 1 installation," Zedalis said. "They expect to see improvement."

Zedalis reviews each ACOE packet submission personally, and said USAG-Japan showed improvement by always being focused on improving customer service.

The garrison received the news of the award in March when an announcement was released.

"We took the feedback that we received from the ACOE team [in 2012] and we applied those lessons learned ... toward our processes to improve those services and support [programs]," said Ainsworth Jackson, assigned to the USAG-J Plans, Analysis and Integration Office, who was the garrison's ACOE writing team supervisor, when interviewed in March.

"We also did a better job of communicating our accomplishments to the larger force," said Jackson.

"[This award] is a validation that we are doing the right thing."