By Mrs. Erinn Burgess (IMCOM)November 21, 2019
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - A U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz director received Installation Management Command's most prestigious award during a ceremony Nov. 19 in San Antonio, Texas.
Stefan Alford, chief of public affairs, was one of 15 people selected from garrisons worldwide for the 2019 IMCOM Stalwart Award.
"The professionals [we] recognize today have demonstrated a passionate commitment to their role within IMCOM and the Army," said Maj. Gen. Timothy McGuire, acting commanding general for IMCOM. "They have done what it takes to get the job done, and they have set a new, higher standard for service to others."
The Stalwart Award is given to employees who distinguish themselves from their peers and leaders as outstanding IMCOM civilians and exceed the call of duty to achieve Army and IMCOM objectives.
According to Dr. Kevin Griess, USAG RP deputy garrison commander, Alford "passed that bar tenfold."
"Stefan, every single day, in everything he does, sets the bar for what Installation Management looks like - which is a dedication to community, a dedication to customer service, high levels of team play, and just a good, solid character as a person and as a professional," Griess said.
Garrison leaders lauded Alford's achievements and said in the nomination package "his level of commitment to Host Nation relationships and pursuit of excellence within IMCOM's Service Culture Campaign have been unprecedented."
Alford guided the garrison commander in Host Nation community relations through the development of a new analytical tool, and execution of events focused on increasing trust, coordination, and partnership between the command and the Host Nation. IMCOM-Europe recognized Alford's work as a best practice.
Alford supported the IMCOM Service Culture Campaign by creating a weekly Service Culture Spotlight to recognize garrison workforce members for outstanding contributions and exceptional customer service. In addition, Alford developed a virtual service longevity recognition wall to highlight employees with 40 or more years of service on the garrison's website.
Also of note were Alford's efforts to obtain customer feedback that aided senior leaders in identifying shortfalls and gaps between customer expectations and garrison service delivery. Through the use of outreach surveys and new digital communication methods such as live-streamed town halls, Alford's "proactive nature enabled the command team to take action," garrison leaders said.
Alford, an Air Force veteran with 25 years of military experience in the public affairs career field and four years as an IMCOM professional, said there are no individual awards in this business -- it's always a team effort.
"Without the outstanding individuals around me and everything we've achieved together, I wouldn't be representing the garrison and the region. That said, I'm proud that this is a positive reflection on all of the things the garrison does across the spectrum of taking care of people," he said.
Alford empowers his team daily to innovate and develop new ways to effectively execute the public affairs mission. Under his leadership, USAG RP Public Affairs staff won garrison, IMCOM and Department of Army-level awards and Commander's Coins.
Alford said, "simply put, leadership means taking care of the team."
Echoing sentiments from the garrison, IMCOM-Europe Director Tommy Mize endorsed Alford's nomination on behalf of the Europe region.
"As a professional communicator, Stefan embraces new and innovative ways to message the Army and Installation Management Command story," Mize said. "Also known as a leader throughout the public affairs community, his peers rightfully recognize him as being the go-to public affairs officer for advice. When things get difficult, people rely on leadership to help them with tough times. Stefan is that type of leader."