By LYNSIE DICKERSON
Gold Standard Staff Writer
Fort Knox has taken home the bronze award in the 2014 Army Communities of Excellence competition.
“It’s a program that focuses on continuous process improvement and performance excellence,” said Derek Avey, a management and program analyst who helped put together the application packet.
Criteria for the ACoE program is based on the Malcolm Baldrige Award, a national award focused on recognizing performance excellence. Key categories are leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, knowledge and information management, workforce focus, operations focus, and results.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the garrison team,” said Col. T.J. Edwards, Fort Knox garrison commander. “This award is a testament to the high-caliber professionals we have who dedicate themselves each and every day to being the best stewards of taxpayer dollars and the environment.”
Applying for the ACoE award is a yearlong process, Avey said. The application packet includes about 30 pages of criteria response, about 20 pages of results and is usually submitted in September. Packets are evaluated and each competing installation is given a score. A senior evaluation team determines the winners based on input by subject matter experts.
“The good things we have are our leadership, our planning capability, our ability to change as an organization, quickly,” Avey said, adding that Fort Knox has also been recognized for its Department of Defense Blue Ribbon School; Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs; and environ-mentally- and energy-sound facilities.
“Our energy, environmental and service contract efforts were singled out by U.S. Army Installation Command as being best practices,” Edwards said. “Great credit, in particular, goes to the individuals working in those areas. Our Plans, Analysis, and Integration Office employees deserve particular recognition as well because of their hard work in presenting these areas and more to IMCOM for consideration. In all, the award really is the result of an all-around Garrison team effort. I am humbled to be able to lead this amazing team.”
This is not the first time Fort Knox has won an award in the competition. The installation won the exemplary practice award in 2012, honorable mention in 2011, bronze in 2009 and several awards for placing in the top three in the mid to late ‘90s.
Fort Knox will receive $30,000 for winning the bronze award, and garrison leadership will determine how the money will be spent, Avey said.
“The significance (of winning this award) is it tells the Army that…we do a lot of great things, all the time, every day, supporting the Soldiers and their Families” as well as retirees, suppliers, contractors and other team members, Avey said. “It’s a holistic award that I think just lets the Army recognize and lets Soldiers throughout the world know that Fort Knox is a top-notch installation.”
“Our team of professionals approaches everything we do with the mindset of setting the gold standard for the entire Army,” Edwards said. “With this approach, we’ve been successful in achieving results and maintaining a first-rate quality of life for the Army Family that works, lives and plays at Fort Knox. This is truly a team effort.”