Army honors Combat Readiness Center for efforts to keep Soldiers, families, civilians safe

By Jim Hughes, U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, Communication and Public AffairsNovember 14, 2023

Superior Unit Award
(Photo Credit: Graphic by Blake Grantham) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT NOVOSEL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center recently earned the Army Superior Unit Award for its efforts between October 2020 and September 2021 to keep the Army Family safe.

Those efforts in fiscal year 2021 were followed up by the Army’s safest year on record in FY22, according to David B. Parker, USACRC chief of staff.

“We had an Army-wide impact affecting safety,” Parker said. “A lot of times, it is hard to measure our success – it is hard to prove the accident that you prevent. It’s subjective, but I don’t think it is a coincidence that after all that we did in FY21 that FY22 was the Army’s safest year since we have been recording. It was also the first time we didn’t lost an aviation crewmember.”

In FY22, 82 Soldiers and one Army civilian died in mishaps, both historic lows, according to the “Annual Assessment of the Army Safety Program” for that year.

But even one death from a preventable mishap is too many as far as the CRC staff is concerned, Parker said. And so, the team continues its hard work every day to do everything it can to help Soldiers, family members, civilians and contractors stay safe.

“If you spend any time within the walls of this building, you will soon realize the great passion our people have for what we do – we are passionate about helping Army leaders preventing mishaps and saving Soldiers’ lives,” the chief of staff added. “It may be hard to prove the mishap that you prevented, but it’s good to receive recognition for your hard work and that people realize the importance of what you do.”

All CRC employees, past and present, should take great pride in the recognition the Army bestowed upon them and the work that they continue to do every day, Parker said.

“We have a great team here,” he said, adding, while tapping on a compilation photo the CRC staff puts together made up of the faces of every Soldier who died in mishaps during the previous fiscal year, “This is why we do what we do. Never forget that.”

The Army Superior Unit Award was established by the Secretary of the Army April 8, 1985, to recognize outstanding meritorious performance by a unit during peacetime of a difficult and challenging mission under extraordinary circumstances, according to Army Regulation 600-8-22, Military Awards.

The SUA lapel pin is also authorized for issue and wear by Department of the Army civilians in the employ of the decorated unit. Those individuals employed with the unit during the cited period may wear the lapel pin permanently. Those currently employed with a decorated unit, but who were not employed during the cited period may wear the lapel pin on a temporary basis as long as they remain employed by the unit.

Similarly, military members who are assigned to the unit can wear the award on their uniform while assigned. However, those who were assigned during the time period of the award can continue to wear the award even when not assigned to the unit.

The CRC is still waiting on the permanent order, citation, certificates and streamers for the unit while they are being processed at U.S. Army Human Resources Command. The unit previously earned the award for its efforts in 2006-07 and 2010.

The proposed citation accompanying the award package is below.

“During the period 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021, the United States Army Combat Readiness Center displayed outstanding meritorious service as the Army's premier knowledge center for all accidental loss and being the catalyst for cultural change. By collecting, analyzing, and communicating actionable information, the command assisted leaders at every level to preserve combat power and protect the human capital of the United States Army. The men and women of the command played a crucial and vital role in advancing the principles, understanding, and successful application of risk management to all Leaders, Soldiers, and Families Army-wide in their ceaseless efforts to decrease the number of preventable mishaps and fatalities experienced annually. The United States Army Combat Readiness Center's outstanding performance of duty is in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon the command and the United States Army.”