FORT BRAGG, N.C. - More than 200 Fort Bragg community members gathered at the Nijmegen Neighborhood Center Tuesday to celebrate Fort Bragg being named as the Army's top large post in the 2010 Army Community of Excellence competition.

The post earned the ACoE gold award after finishing second in last year's competition and XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg Commanding General Lt. Gen. Frank G. Helmick Tuesday recognized many of those responsible.

Col. Stephen Sicinski, Fort Bragg's garrison commander, hosted the awards ceremony, in which Helmick served as its guest speaker.

On May 5, Helmick and Sicinski, along with Command Sgts. Maj. Earl L. Rice, XVIII Abn. Corps and Samuel B. Campbell, Fort Bragg garrison command, traveled to Washington D.C. with a Fort Bragg delegation, where they received the award from Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey and Installation Management Command Commanding General Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch.

"We do have an all star team and when we did go to D.C. to accept the recognition from the chief of staff of the Army and (Lt.) General Lynch, he was very, very impressed with what he saw here," Helmick said. "It was kind of like the icing on the cake to receive that award."

Casey visited Fort Bragg April 21, where he fielded questions from Family members, toured the post and met with XVIII Airborne Corps leadership. Helmick said Casey mentioned that visit during his remarks at the ceremony in Washington, D.C.

"That really is attributed to all of you sitting out there, not the guys sitting up here," said Helmick. "And the workers that work below you as well because they're the ones that turned all the wrenches.

"The ACoE program recognized installations that demonstrate superior commitment to facilities and services and the environment. That's what this award is for," Helmick said. "They have standards that they go through when they come here and they measure our performance by those standards."

He said the Fort Bragg community has easily exceeded those standards with its every day performance.

"There's attitude, it's how you treat people and it's customer service," Helmick continued. "This is the center of the universe and other installations around the U.S. and in Europe envy what we have here."

He thanked the community for doing their jobs and upholding those standards and said it's a pleasure being on the same team. He also recognized the Picerne Military Housing team for their efforts in supporting Fort Bragg.

"Thank you for what you do every day," he said. "It is a pleasure to be a part of this winning organization. Everybody loves a winner and Fort Bragg is a winner."

Sicinski said he was also proud of the efforts of his staff and everyone on post who contributed in helping Fort Bragg win the award.

He apologized for not being able to take many members of the garrison staff along during the Washington, D.C. trip, but added that they are the reason he looks forward to serving as garrison commander each day.

"I remain a proud member of your team," he said. "I get up every morning looking forward to going to work because of the folks that I work with and because of the good deeds you do on a daily basis. The attitude and the work ethos that you display is a direct reflection of the paratrooper ethos embodied by Fort Bragg."

Army Secretary, the Hon. John McHugh was originally scheduled to appear at the ceremony, in which he was expected to sign the Army Family Covenant. But he was unable to attend and Fort Bragg leaders took the opportunity to thank the community for their efforts in winning the ACoE award.

The ACoE award and program is a total Army program, which focuses on improvements in the areas of environment, services, facilities and the overall working and living conditions of the installation.

This year, Fort Bragg, which is often called the center of the military universe, exceeded the standard and is recognized as the Army's installation of the year.

Helmick commended the entire Fort Bragg community for its support and contribuitons during this year's competition. Shortly before ending the ceremony, he and Sicinski presented several members of the garrison staff with awards for their efforts.

Carrie Rice and Kathy Baloyot, Karen Lacour, Melissa Visek and Belinda Sue Rose, all of the Plans, Analysis and Integration Office; Debbie Dawson, Directorate of Public Works; Johnny Catchings, Directorate of Plans, Training and Mobilization; Steve Wykel, Directorate of Logistics; Drew Young, Directorate of Emergency Services; and Patricia Morales, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation were all recognized for their efforts in helping Fort Bragg achieve a superior rating in this year's ACoE competition.