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The Department of the Army Headquarters named the winners of the Army Communities of Excellence awards in a message from the office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management March 13.

Winners this year include U.S. Army Garrison Fort Rucker as a first-time Gold Medal winner. USAG Japan and Joint Base Lewis-McChord have been selected as Silver Medal winners. Bronze Medal winners for 2013 include USAG Fort Campbell, USAG Fort Drum and USAG Fort AP Hill. Four additional garrisons have been chosen to receive special recognition for their performance as most improved: USAG Detroit Arsenal, USAG Fort Detrick, USAG Fort Greely and USAG Fort Buchanan.

USAG Fort Detrick commander Col. Allan J. Darden stated in an email dated April 1, 2013, “the Army has recognized our employees for their remarkable dedication and unwavering support to the Fort Detrick community.”

Darden went on to thank everyone for their perseverance and the drive he sees every day.

The ACOE program is based on the principle that communities support people best by combining excellent services with excellent facilities in a quality environment.

The Army community is the backbone of Army readiness; our forces train at, deploy from, are sustained by and return to this Army community. Soldiers perform their mission with more confidence when they feel their leaders care about them and their families.

Established in 1989, the ACOE awards are presented annually to Army installations scoring highest in the Army Communities of Excellence competition.

By using criteria established for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award as a framework for performance assessment, the ACOE program helps participating Army installations/communities focus on providing excellence in facilities and services in support of Soldiers, their families, and civilians. Baldrige-based performance assessments help to identify best practices regarding installation management and reveal potential opportunities to apply appropriate performance improvement tools.