FORT HOOD, Texas - The 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division's public affairs section was honored for excellence in video production at a ceremony held at the 1st Cav. Div. headquarters July 22.

Dale City, Va. native Maj. Randall Baucom, officer in charge of public affairs and Cookeville, Tenn. native and former noncommissioned officer in charge, Staff Sgt. Jon Cupp, were presented the 29th Annual "Silver" Telly Award by Maj. Gen. Daniel Bolger, 1st Cavalry Division commander. The section, in conjunction with Texas Roadhouse's "Live" Productions, won the award for producing the best "Live Event" in 2009.

The civilian honor is bestowed for excellence in commercials, programs and segments, along with film and video productions. This year the Telly Awards received over 14,000 submissions from all 50 states and five continents.

The 1st BCT public affairs office received the award for a community relations event during Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08. Baucome and Cupp linked Soldiers with motorcycle enthusiast during the Sturgis Bike Rally in Sturgis, S.D. in a live broadcast from Camp Taji, Iraq.

Using the Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) the Soldiers and bikers from Sturgis were able to connect and exchange messages. DVIDS is a state of the art system Army public affairs sections use to provide the public timely and accurate information. The satellite centers in Atlanta, Ga. make real time broadcast video, still images, and print products as well as immediate interview opportunities with service members, commanders and subject matter experts available with portable satellite transmitters carried into the theater by public affairs units.

Primarily used to conduct interviews with the United States media, the "Ironhorse" public affairs section coordinated with Texas Roadhouse "Live" Productions to have the Sturgis side of the broadcast streamed over the internet so the soldiers at Camp Taji could see and hear the rally from South Dakota.

"Normally, the system only allows for the Soldiers in theater to hear what is going on," explained Baucom, "but with a little coordination with the DVIDS hub in Atlanta, our Soldiers could feel they were actually part of event by viewing the "live" webcast on a projection screen."

"Winning this award proves two things," said Baucom. "First, that Army Public Affairs professionals can perform on the same level as their civilian counterparts, and second, DVIDS is not just a tool for media relations but can be used a viable tool for community relations as a direct link to the America public.

"This was the third community relations event the 1st BCT public affairs office conducted during OIF 06-08, an my hope is many other public affairs sections follow in our footsteps and their will be more events like this one," stated Baucom.

After presenting the award, Bolger addressed the media, other public affairs sections across the division and the members of 1st BCT public affairs office.

"The advanced technology that allows Soldiers and the media to communicate was not always available," said Bolger. "We are now in the forefront with this technology and we are now utilizing it to bring Soldiers to the media and to other outlets."