The 2009 Army Communities of Excellence winners have been presented by the Senior Army leadership, and on behalf of everyone in the Yongsan community, I would like to congratulate our fellow Korea Region communities, USAG-Humphreys and USAG-Daegu, for attaining "Bronze" status in this year's competition!

Even though Yongsan did not place in the top three categories this year, we were one of seven finalists Army wide, and have proven two years running, that we are clearly among the best! Last year's third place victory won the community $750,000, and although we will not walk away with any additional money this year, we were one of the top seven finalists out of 179 garrisons Army-wide, and this is something to brag about!

I am very proud of every one of you!

Getting to the top is difficult, but "Staying on top" is even harder. Be assured that we are "in the zone" of excellence and consistently meeting the needs of our customers.

Because of our experience as a front-runner for the past two years, the garrison is well positioned to prepare for next year's competition. What this means is that our community members can continue look to us for "excellence in installation management."

We are fully engaged to meet the promises of the Army Family Covenant. We promise to continue providing a quality of life commensurate with your level of service.

There are many ways for you to help us help you. First, when you have a comment, positive or negative, you need to know that we have mechanisms in place to hear your feedback. First, we have the Commander's Hotline. You can call, or use the form on our web site. Second, we highly encourage you to use ICE. This is the Integrated Customer Evaluation available as a link on the USAG-Yongsan web site.

We are also in the process of re-positioning many of our ICE kiosks throughout the community so that you can make a comment as soon as you are finished with our service provider.

Additionally, we have a new customer service officer for the garrison. Lia Abney is the driving force behind getting your voice heard. I count on her to not only manage customer feedback, but to put together focus groups with community members to discuss issues and concerns.

Finally, we have an annual assessment that we plan to get out to as many community members as possible. What this annual assessment does is help the garrison leadership formulate a "roadmap" for success in providing quality service.

This month, we are also reaching out to garrison employees to take the Organizational Self-Assessment survey. This is a tool for me to get an "azimuth check" on the way we are deploying our strategic plan and objectives. The OSA helps us to better manage our programs and services. It also tells me the maturity of our organization.

Garrison employees will be taking the OSA May 11-22. I look forward to seeing the honest responses and constructive criticism. This survey is vital for us to continue improving our support to our Soldiers, Families and each other.

Thanks for doing your part to continue making Yongsan a "Community of Excellence!" Army Strong!