FORT BRAGG, N.C. (May 6, 2020) ꟷ Nearly thirty-six years ago, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (DCSLOG) tasked the U.S. Army Quartermaster School (USAQMS) with assisting in the research and development of an award program that would recognize supply excellence at the various unit and organizational levels.One of the objectives of this award program was to increase public awareness of supply excellence in the Army.DCSLOG provided guidance and USAQMS provided resources, and after two years of research and development the first on-site evaluations for the Supply Excellence Award (SEA) were underway in 1986.According to the Quartermaster Corps website, the objectives of SEA have continuously been achieved since that time and through present day. That said, the goal has remained an improved supply system and recognition of that improvement at the unit and organizational levels.With that overarching goal in mind, MAJ Grushenka Avendano of United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) G-4 Supply & Services Branch and Carlos Darder Colon, FORSCOM SEA Coordinator, decided in mid-February 2020 that it was time to modernize the award’s current two-phase evaluation process. Given its prior success using the Army Knowledge Online [AKO] Communities feature, AKO seemed the ideal forum to accomplish just that.“Phase I is a virtual evaluation, and we had already been using AKO before for units to post their packages from which we select best units for Phase II – site evaluation,” said Avendano. “It was a very simple process for units to post their packages and for us to evaluate.”A community is an AKO site created to support an organization or knowledge community. It can include various features like an about page, activity stream, assignments, blog, calendar, catalog of resources, files, forum, etc.Avendano and Darder Colon made it their intention for all units under FORSCOM to use AKO Communities for posting documents and inspections related to the Command Disciple Program.“Given the amount of users that we expected to have upload SOP’s, inspections and other relevant guidance, we felt this forum was easier to access by CAC users and it provided more space capacity,” said Avendano. “FORSCOM is going to require for their units to post inspections for the Command Discipline Program, which was not a requirement before. CDP is an auditable program, and FORSCOM is trying to improve the accountability of such inspections; thus, will require each section to upload inspections and SOP’s.”As of Apr. 30, FORSCOM/G4 has 475 AKO Communities dedicated to SEA, with 473 added since mid-February. Still, Avendano says there is more work to be done.“We haven’t started utilizing the Communities to post the packages for SEA yet since not all units’ communities have been created,” said Avendano. “Units have until May 31 to post their packages/files for the SEA.”Avendano’s advice for current or prospective community owners is to set up training with AKO experts right away.“We were lucky to have them provide us with one on one training, and we were able to discuss the best way to develop our communities to meet our intent,” said Avendano. “The accessibility to an AKO developer/trainer made this process easier to navigate.”To begin building your unit or organization’s presence on AKO 2.0 Communities, visit the AKO Home Page and click the “Community Request” button at the top of the page, or the “Request a Community” link under Help & Resources at the bottom of the page.For a direct link, visit: https://www.us.army.mil/content/armyako/en/community-site-request-form.html.