FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- For the second year in a row, Fort Rucker has proven its commitment to excellence by achieving an award that reflects the installation's ability to care for Soldiers and their families.

Fort Rucker earned the 2017 Chief of Staff of the Army, Army Community of Excellence Silver Award, which is an annual assessment of garrisons across the Army, during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation museum June 19.

"This is a big deal," said Maj. Gen. William K. Gayler, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, during the ceremony. "Again Fort Rucker was recognized as an Army Community of Excellence recipient, and that is a special thing because the sole criteria that are used is measuring how well an installation performs its primary functions of caring for our Soldiers and their families, and that is an incredible honor to be recognized -- I'm incredibly proud to be with you."

Following Gayler's remarks, the commanding general, along with Col. Shannon T. Miller, Fort Rucker garrison commander, presented the 2017 ACOE Silver Award streamer to be affixed to the garrison colors, as well as a trophy and $60,000 awarded to the installation, which will be used to benefit the Fort Rucker community, improving the quality of life for Soldiers, civilians and family members, according Mike Kozlowski, narrator for the event.

In addition to the presentation of the streamer, trophy and check, each garrison directorate, office and team were recognized and presented with USAACE certificates of achievement, recognizing the direct and indirect contributions of their respective workforces to the garrison's selection as the Silver Award winner.

"Today is a great day for team Rucker where we're able to recognize the many contributions of our garrison work force, but also our community partners," said the garrison commander. "This has culminated for two years, with the second year in a row of receiving this recognition, but it doesn't happen without the efforts of the entire community."

The ACOE award honors top Army, National Guard and Reserve installations that have achieved high levels of excellence in building a quality environment, facilities and services, and during a year-long process, applicants for the award are assessed and evaluated against Army priorities and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria for Performance Excellence.

Each of the competing installations are evaluated against the criteria core values, which include visionary leadership; organizational performance and learning; focus on the future; valuing workforce members and partners; managing for innovation; management by fact; focus on results and creating value; agility; societal responsibility; systems perspective; and customer-driven excellence.

Individual awards were also presented to selected garrison workforce representatives who participated in virtual site visits by Installation Management Command examiners, said the narrator. The representatives engaged with the IMCOM examiners, validating and clarifying information contained within the narrative assessment. The representatives who participated in the virtual site visits were presented with USAACE certificates of achievement.

"All of you understand the importance of what it means to support our Aviation warfighters and our entire community here -- it happens as a team and not as a single entity," said Miller. "While we recognize our garrison teammates today, we know that winning the Silver Award is truly a team effort, and we would not have achieved this accomplishment without the great partnership from our community, our fellow units, as well as the great community leaders and incredible support that we receive from the entire Wiregrass area.

"We understand that our commitment doesn't stop today," she continued. "This is about improving every day and ensuring that our service of excellence is commensurate for the Soldiers that we serve and the service they provide for our nation."