Secretary of the Army confirms Quality of Life Award Winners

The 2010 Secretary of the Army Quality of Life awardees have been confirmed by the Honorable John H. McHugh, Secretary of the Army.

Secretary McHugh signed nine award certificates, which will be presented later this month to recognize individuals, commands, and team efforts in improving Soldier and Family Quality of Life.

Three Secretary of the Army Superior Quality of Life Awards are being presented for initiative that could be emulated by all installations and commands world-wide.

Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, U.S. Army Garrison, Schofield Barracks in Hawaii earned the Superior Quality of Life Award for a large unit or installation for developing the Blue Star Card discounted and free services program, which helped keep Family members engaged and entertained throughout their Soldier’s deployment. The Blue Star Card program has significantly helped ease deployment stress and anxiety for deployed Soldiers and waiting Families.

U.S. Army Garrison, Yongsan, Korea earned the Superior Quality of Life Award for a medium sized unit or installation for implementing an aggressive action plan and employing best practices to increase the community’s use of their ‘Voice of the Customer’ feedback program. These efforts have provided the Yongsan community with standardized, effective and efficient services, facilities and infrastructure which have improved the Quality of Life for Service members, Civilians and Families.

U.S. Army Garrison, Presidio of Monterey, California earned the Superior Quality of Life Award for a small unit or installation for successfully teaming with a local mass transportation company under the Mass Transportation Benefit Program and the Transportation Incentive Program.  The garrison addressed customer requirements, alleviated parking constraints, reduced pollution and traffic congestion, helped preserve the environment, expanded transportation alternatives and created a safer, more cost effective mode of transportation for their community.

U.S. Army Garrison Command Team at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania earned The Command Team Quality of Life Award for demonstrating personal involvement in initiating a single or multiple quality of life improvements within their command. The garrison’s command team engaged in a myriad of unique strategies to make their private housing partner part of the “Garrison Team,” and committed to an unprecedented level of customer service.

The Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri Command Team earned a Special Recognition award for demonstrating exceptional resiliency after an EF-3 tornado struck the installation on New Year’s Eve, destroying 47 homes and damaging 97 others. Their extreme focus and expedient recovery operations enabled continuation of their mission and put their facilities back to pre-storm status within the year, with no disruptions in scheduled training cycles for their 80 to 90 thousand students.

Army Community Service and Directorate of Human Resources, 1st Infantry Division and U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Riley, Kansas earned the Best Practices Award presented to an installation, command or group that has demonstrated the ability to develop ‘best practices’ to improve Soldiers and their Family quality of life for establishing the Resilient Spouse Academy, a unique program which focuses on Family members’ resilience.  The Resilient Spouse Academy has provided the community a network of trained, prepared and motivated spouses with the ability to identify Soldiers and Families at risk and assist them in locating the support they need.

The Meade Alliance, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland earned the Quality of Life Partnership Award presented to new or exciting partnerships that have improved Soldier or Family quality of life programs for partnering with a consortium of over 250 local businesses, universities and private organizations, to include the United Service Organization – to entirely furnish and outfit a new Soldier and Family Assistance Center.  This dynamic partnership enabled the community to positively impact the lives of their 200 Warriors in Transition and their Family members in less than 12 months, without cost to the U.S. Government.

Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Marketing Team, U.S. Army Garrison, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii earned the Quality of Life Award for Communication Excellence presented to individuals or commands that have employed new or unique communication efforts for creating “Eddie the Eagle” and successfully marketing, promoting and generating interest in Family and MWR programs and services. “Eddie the Eagle” is a highly successful branding technique which embodies the Family and MWR mission and goals and significantly supports the garrison’s mission of providing high quality programs to Soldiers and Families.

The 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 192nd Infantry Brigade, Fort Benning, Georgia earned the Quality of Life Honorable Mention Communication award for developing unique and creative communication abilities with Families of Initial Entry Training Soldiers. The battalion’s success in employing traditional and non-traditional communication techniques has built a lasting community network which has significantly improved Soldier and Family quality of life.

This year’s competition was open to all Army Commands, Army Service Component Commands, Direct Reporting Units, Army National Guard and Army Reserve Units.

The awards were progressive in nature, with recognition being given at local, region and headquarters levels.  Finalists from each of the command headquarter levels were forwarded to the Department of the Army level selection panel 1 Feb. 2011.

A panel of 10 judges from across the Secretariat and Army Staff reviewed and independently ranked each nomination. Panel members assembled 9 Feb. 2011, discussed each nomination, averaged their scores and determined winning nominations. The nominations were forwarded to the Secretary of the Army for confirmation.

The awards will be presented during the Association of the United States Army Installation Symposium in San Antonio by the Under Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Joseph Westphal, 19 April 2011.

Congratulations to  all! HOOAH!