FORT LEE, Va. (Feb. 17, 2010) - The Sustainment Center of Excellence (SCoE) was awarded the First TRADOC Center of Excellence, Institution of Excellence, by Lt. Gen. David P. Valcourt, Training and Doctrine Command deputy commanding general, in a ceremony here yesterday. It is TRADOC's first Institution of Excellence award for one of its Centers of Excellence.

Accepting the award was Maj. Gen. James E. Chambers, commanding general, Combined Arms Support Command/ SCoE; Linda Legier and Chris Sutton, director and deputy director, CASCOM/ SCoE Quality Assurance; and Bill Moore, deputy to the CASCOM/ SCoE commanding general.

"Their success is attributable to the Sustainment Center of Excellence command support for the Quality Assurance Program and the hard work of Sustainment Center of Excellence and Soldier Support Institute Quality Assurance Offices, as well as the quality-assurance elements at each subordinate school," said Valcourt.

The Institute of Excellence award was given at the conclusion of the "Year of Accreditation," which began in September 2008 and ended in January 2010.

With an annual training load of more than 50,000 Soldiers, Quality Assurance Offices were established to function as the "eyes and ears of the commander" to help the commander ensure the development and implementation of current relevant, efficient and effective doctrine, training, professional military education and leader development to meet unit, Soldier, Army civilian leader competency needs across the Army.

To earn the Institute of Excellence award, the organization had to excel in three areas of evaluation: internal evaluation, external evaluation and accreditation.

During internal evaluation, quality-assurance teams measured the effectiveness of the course curriculum, instructors and integration of lessons into broader strategy and doctrine. Internal evaluations also assessed relevance, currency, value, content validity, efficiency and effectiveness.

External evaluations turned to subject-matter experts, automation tools, data-collection instruments and lessons-learned to provide a different dimension of feedback. Data is gathered through graduate surveys, end-of-course critiques and combat training centers, among other sources, to determine the effectiveness of sustainment functions.

Accreditation occurs in a three-year cycle where an institution is certified by TRADOC because it assures the command that the training institution meets accepted standards and higher headquarters policy and guidance; addresses the quality of graduates; and highlights concerns of the center/school.

The SCoE received an Institution of Excellence rating among the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel and facilities domains. Eleven of the SCoE's 14 subordinate organizations also achieved the Institute of Excellence rating.

"Any organization is only as good as its leader," Valcourt said. "SCoE's quality assurance is known for its tight family and spirit of cooperation, and [its] support to each other and to supported organizations."