WASHINGTON (May 6, 2010) - Army leadership recognized U.S. Army Garrison Fort Bragg, N.C., with golden status during the 2010 Chief of Staff of the Army Communities of Excellence Awards ceremony Tuesday at the Pentagon.

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., chief of staff of the Army, and Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Installation Management Command, presented awards to Army, National Guard and Reserve installations for reaching levels of excellence in building a high-quality environment, outstanding facilities and superior services. A common theme among the honorees: successful Army Family Covenant, transformation and quality-of-life programs.

"For over 60 years, I have lived on Army installations; I was an Army brat. Things only continue to get better," said Casey as he applauded winners for their commitment, drive and execution of excellence.

Additionally, the chief of staff told the audience that the Army would not have been able to sustain itself during the last eight years of conflict without support from its neighbors. ACOE awards are not just about military installations themselves; nearby civilian communities play a role as well.

Casey also said efficiency will become a greater focus as part of the Army Communities of Excellence Program - highlighting the Army's efforts to get the most value for its money.

During the ceremony, Fort Bragg received a standing ovation and a million-dollar check for its ACOE honors. In the audience were a dozen civilians from Fort Bragg's local community who accompanied Lt. Gen. Frank G. Helmick, senior commander, and Col. Stephen J. Sicinski, garrison commander, to the event.

In his welcoming remarks, Lynch thanked every ACOE honoree for their contributions in "ensuring a quality of life that measures to the quality of our Soldiers, Families and civilians."

Other awardees noted for excellence in installation management were:

Silver Winners
Aca,!AcU.S. Army Garrison Fort Campbell, Ky.
Aca,!AcU.S. Garrison Fort Hood, Texas

Bronze Winners
Aca,!AcU.S. Army Garrison Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Aca,!AcU.S. Army Garrison Schinnen, The Netherlands
Aca,!AcU.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, Republic of Korea

Exemplary Practice Winners
Aca,!AcU.S. Army Garrison Detroit Arsenal, Mich.
Aca,!AcU.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson, Colo.
Aca,!AcU.S. Army Garrison Fort Detrick, Md.
Aca,!AcU.S. Army Garrison Fort Drum, N.Y.
Aca,!AcU.S. Garrison Fort Rucker, Ala.
Aca,!AcU.S. Garrison Japan

Special Category Winners
Aca,!AcMinnesota, Army National Guard
Aca,!AcArmy Reserves, 1st Mission Support Command, Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico

Overall, the Army Communities of Excellence Program is designed for the total Army, focusing on improvements to the environment, in services and facilities, along with improvement in working and living conditions.

The awards result from an evaluation program that promotes services and facilities excellence.

Applicants for the awards are assessed and evaluated against Army priorities and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality criteria displayed over the course of a previous year. The seven criteria categories are: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement; analysis; knowledge management, workforce focus, process management; and results.

Installations compete against the criteria not each other. The fundamental approach is the S-E-R principle: Set high standards; Evaluate against those standards; Reward those who achieve.

An Army Communities of Excellence staff - with extensive training needed to assist with review and scoring of applications and for site visits - evaluated each organization. Plus there's a judging panel consisting of chief executive officers, industry presidents and Baldrige experts.

Designed to increase performances and productivity as the service focuses its resources toward a common goal of readiness, "ACOE is another example of the Army supporting Soldiers, Families and civilians who live, work, train and play on installations," said program officials.