BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Members of the U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder's Army Community Service team have reason to be proud. They were recently selected as the best Armywide ACS serving a medium-size garrison.

The award recognizes installations that have exemplary, comprehensive ACS programs and systems. Various criteria were considered for this award, including:
*Finding unique ways of providing customer service or meeting customer needs.
*Recognition of excellence by agencies outside of ACS.
*Special achievements beyond job requirements to improve ACS installation operations.
*Quality of services provided to the installation, and
*Visible command support and involvement.

Obviously, Kathy Ledbetter, Baumholder ACS chief, is proud of her team, saying Baumholder's ACS crew is "among the best in the Army."

"The primary reason we won this award is because our team - our ACS team - is very focused on readiness, personal readiness in terms of letting the Soldiers and families know what they need to do in order to be prepared for a long deployment.

"I'm really proud of everybody on the team; this is a team award because we won it all together," she said.

"We competed against installations all across the Army and we were determined to be the best," added Ledbetter.

Baumholder's ACS counts on about 25 full-time employees and scores of volunteers to run a slew of programs designed for Soldiers and family members.

Programs aimed at improving the quality of life for the Baumholder community include:
*Mobilization and Deployment,
*Financial Readiness,
*Employment Readiness,
*Information Referral,
*Family Advocacy,
*Exceptional Family Member Program,
*The Soldier and Family Assistance Center, which is affiliated with the Warrior Transition Unit, and
*Volunteer Programs, to include the Army Family Action Plan and Army Family Team Building.

Ledbetter explained some of the areas that Army officials review and what made Baumholder's ACS a winning team.

"They looked at different approaches to providing services to Soldiers and families, including innovative ideas that can be implemented across the Army as best practices. Our Personal Readiness Consultant Program was one of the primary reasons that we won."

The assistance that Army Community Service provides is varied. Everything from helping Soldiers and families manage their finances to lending out household items to families transitioning in or out of the community is covered under ACS's umbrella. The organization's employees are constantly busy assisting Soldiers and families, Ledbetter noted.

As most Army members realize, behind every award-winning organization is an award-winning nomination package. Ledbetter recognized the person behind the scenes who helped Baumholder ACS earn its well-deserved recognition.

"I'd like to thank Greg Galloway, our director of (the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation division) in Baumholder, because he submitted us for the award. That says a lot about Greg's regard for family programs in this community," said Ledbetter.