ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Last year, the APG Garrison dedicated the Women's Research and Development Memorial Garden at Bldg. 305 -- the first of its kind in the Army - during Women's History Month. This year, the behind-the-scenes work that went into the event has been recognized with two prestigious awards.

Terri Kaltenbacher, the Community Relations Officer in the Garrison Public Affairs Office and the lead organizer behind the event recently won two Keith L. Ware Public Affairs Competition awards for her work on the project. Kaltenbacher won second place in the Community Relation category at the Installation Management Command level and then advanced to the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Department of the Army-level competition in the Individual Achievement category where she placed third Army-wide.

Kelly Luster, Garrison Public Affairs Officer, put Kaltenbacher's achievement in perspective.

"Having spent a significant part of my military career in public affairs, I believe the Community Relations entries are more difficult to prepare and considerably harder to win," Luster said, noting that he's competed in print, broadcast and community relations.

"COMREL activities by their nature may take longer to plan, execute and evaluate the outcomes and some programs or events take months if not longer to see the success and dividends of the program.

"The significance of Terri's award is that she has been judged as one of the best among her peers from across the Army and specifically in Community Relations," he said.

Each year the KLW competition recognizes Soldiers and Department of the Army civilian employees for excellence in furthering the objectives of the Department of the Army Public Affairs program. The Secretary of the Army sponsors the competition and the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs conducts judging with a goal of ensuring the best internal information efforts receive recognition for professional excellence and outstanding achievement.

"We are all very proud of Terri's success in winning this competition," Luster said. She is truly an asset to this office, the garrison and APG."

The 2012 celebration, led by Kaltenbacher and called "Women in Bloom," included the unveiling of a memorial garden plaque dedicating the garden to APG women of achievement in research, science and technology. Special guests included Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, who flew in to deliver the keynote address, and Winifred "Wink" Jonas of Aberdeen, one of the original programmers of the ENIAC, the world's first computer that was used for ballistic calculations at the former Ballistics Research Laboratory.

Noting that "no one wins awards like this individually," Kaltenbacher said that a "dedicated team" of individuals on APG and in the surrounding community "stepped forward to make the idea a reality."

She specifically cited Dr. Deidre DeRoia of the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division who planned the garden portion of the project.

"Winning this prestigious DA-level communications award is quite an honor," Kaltenbacher said. "It segues perfectly with this year's Women's History Month Theme: Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination."

She said the most important accomplishment of the project is that the heightened awareness of the initiatives and accomplishments of APG women of the past serves to inspire those of the present and future.

"The Women in Bloom Memorial Garden recognizes those trailblazing females at APG whose STEM skills advanced our nation's defense. They were infamously underpaid and their accomplishments were historically overlooked compared to their male counterparts," she said. "The monument, in its own small way, pays tribute to their efforts and vital contributions toward forging women's current opportunities in the workplace.

"According to our research, no other installation in the country has a similar memorial."