BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The U.S. Army Garrison Brussels was one of only eight installations worldwide recently honored by Secretary of the Army Pete Geren for superior performance in enhancing the quality of life for the populations they serve.

The Quality of Life Awards were presented in Washington, D.C., Oct. 7 at a ceremony held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army.

Jean Chambers, the Business and Recreation director of the garrison's Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate, accepted the award from Geren.

The awards recognize best practices adopted in support of the Soldier Family Action Plan, the Army Family Covenant and the Army Community Covenant. The awards also reflect the senior Army leadership's commitment to providing Soldiers and their Families a quality of life commensurate with the quality of their service to the nation.

USAG Brussels was recognized with the Superior Quality of Life Award, Small Installation category.

The award was formally presented to the employees of the Brussels Garrison Oct. 24 by Vice Adm. William Sullivan, U.S. Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee, and, in his capacity as the senior U.S. national officer in Brussels, the garrison's senior commander.

Speaking to all garrison Soldiers and employees, Sullivan said the award recognized "a home-grown Brussels initiative, your annual Information Fair, which literally brings Brussels and the wonders of this great city to us in a one-stop shopping way."

He praised all garrison personnel -Soldiers, U.S. civilians, Belgian nationals - for their "dedication to serving the Brussels joint and inter-agency community," pointing out that USAG Brussels was probably the only Army garrison worldwide, which served a population in which Army comprised a minority of the population.

Having congratulated the garrison for a "richly deserved recognition of a great initiative," Sullivan devoted the remainder of his discussion to what the Brussels garrison does for its community during the other 364 days of the year.

"Whether it's youth services, or child care, or a wonderful gym, or a great library, or the Shoppette, or the chapel or the events you put on, such as the Lt. Dan Band concert, or day-to-day support of the countless U.S. VIPs who come to NATO, your small garrison does it all, always does it well and we always depend upon you."

Enegued Batoula, a Belgian employee of the Garrison's Protocol Department was impressed.

"It was so nice of the Admiral to come and thank us personally for what we do. It made me feel really good."

Michelle Jankowiak, who works at the garrison library and is herself an Air Force spouse, agreed.

"The award from the Secretary of the Army for the Info Fair is great, but I thought the admiral was spot-on the way he described how much this place does for Brussels year-round."