By Kaytrina Curtis, Hunter Army Airfield Public AffairsJuly 30, 2009
WASHINGTON D.C.- Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield's military officials and local civic and community leaders brought home the proverbial Army gold for the fourth time during a ceremony held in the Pentagon's auditorium, July 22.
The newly re-designed Commander-in-Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence, resembles a pillar or pyramid in shape and has come to be associated with timelessness, which replaced the large wooden trophy that represented built environments. The crystal composition of the re-designed award represents the strength and clear vision of the winning installation's resource management capabilities. Winning installations also received an Installation Excellence flag, and a letter signed by the President complimenting the winners for their exceptional accomplishments.
Twenty-five years ago, President Ronald Regan instituted the CINC award. An installation in each branch of the Armed Forces, to include the Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin, is identified for exemplary actions taken by the Command with the use of its resources. Five installations received the esteemed award for their positive impact of leadership, commitment and service at every level. In a special letter to the honorees dated May 6, President Barack Obama said the winning installations are recognized as the "best of the best."
"Your excellence exceeds all standards," President Obama wrote. "As our Nation faces great challenges in the years to come, we will count on your continued leadership to meet the needs of our troops and their Families."
As a distinguished Army Community of Excellence award winning installation, Stewart-Hunter continues to strive to be the best the Army has to offer.
"The senior commander and the entire garrison team are always looking for ways to improve quality of life for our Soldiers and Family Members," Stewart Garrison Commander, Col. Kevin Milton said.
"We are currently exploring several new services for Soldiers and Family Members. Once we have funding for these initiatives, I will be glad to share them with our customers."
Third Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo proudly accepted the award on behalf of the installation, a place he referred to as home in his acceptance speech.
"Home is just a word to Soldiers and their Families, unless there is a feeling of warmth, welcome and care behind it." he said. "We are blessed to have the most supportive community that I have seen in the 30 years of my service in Liberty County, Bryan County, Chatham County, and all the surrounding counties of coastal Georgia."
Colonel Milton agreed with Maj. Gen. Cucolo's sentiments, noting assuredly that "(the surrounding communities) will continue to take great care of our Soldiers and Family Members and continue to provide selfless support to all Soldiers and Family Members in the future."
The other services that also took home awards were from Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Commander, Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan and Hurlburt Field, Fla.; and the Defense Distribution Depot, San Joaquin, Calif.
Stewart-Hunter takes pride in being a Community of Excellence, which has resulted in the installation being the southern living station of choice.