ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Army chief of staff has selected U.S. Army Garrison Fort Bragg, N.C., as the Gold winner in the 2010 Army Communities of Excellence awards competition.

The installation will receive a million-dollar grand prize during a Pentagon ceremony May 4, followed by the Commander In Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence in a separate Pentagon event May 5. Fort Bragg built on an ACOE Silver prize earned last year to take top honors for 2010.

USAG Fort Campbell, Ky., and USAG Fort Hood, Texas, are Silver winners in the 2010 ACOE competition, with each installation receiving a $500,000 cash prize.

USAG Garrison Fort Leavenworth, Kan., USAG Schinnen, the Netherlands, and USAG Yongsan, Republic of Korea, were Bronze winners. Each will receive a $250,000 cash prize.

"These winners and all the competitors are to be congratulated for the hard work they put into this competition," said Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Installation Management Command. "ACOE keeps the focus on doing the right things, in the right way, and with the right priorities to deliver sustainable installation communities."

Additionally, a new competition category for 2010 recognizes exemplary practices in installation operations and is awarded to six garrisons: Detroit Arsenal, Mich.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Detrick, Md.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Rucker, Ala.; and USAG Japan. Exemplary practice winners will each receive a $75,000 cash prize.

The Special Category overall winner for the Army National Guard is the Minnesota Army National Guard, which will receive a $400,000 cash prize. The 1st Mission Support Command, based at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, is the Special Category winner for the Army Reserve and will receive a $500,000 cash prize.

The Army's chief of staff presents ACOE Awards annually to recognize performance excellence in installation management. The awards recognize continuous business process improvement; individual innovation; groundbreaking initiatives; and dedication to efficiency, effectiveness, and customer care. These efforts directly affect the quality of support to Soldiers, families, civilian employees, and retirees who work, live, train, and play on Army installations.

The ACOE program uses the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program Criteria for Performance Excellence - an internationally recognized integrated management system - to evaluate the competing installations. The criteria are the basis for performance excellence recognition programs worldwide and in federal agencies including the U.S. Army, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Participants are judged against this common standard and not against each other.

"ACOE helps these installations focus on cost-conscious and performance-based activities, and that contributes directly to a resilient, healthy, and mission-ready Army," Lynch said.

An independent panel of judges identifies the winning installations based on the installations' written applications and additional information gathered during site visits by examiner teams. Each winning installation receives a monetary award, trophy and commemorative flag.