(FORT STEWART, Ga.) - For an unprecedented sixth time, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield has once again been named the best Army installation, bringing home first place in this year's Army Community of Excellence (ACOE) awards.
Stewart-Hunter has won gold in the ACOE awards five times before in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2012. The continued recognition by the Army of the installation's prowess showcases its dedication to Soldiers and Families, said garrison commander Col. Kevin Gregory. The neighboring communities' commitment to the installation was also instrumental in securing the unprecedented win.
"Taking gold in the ACOE competition for a sixth time is proof Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield is the best installation in the U.S. Army to train, deploy, live, and raise a military family," he said. "I'm excited about this accomplishment. It is a testament to the hard work and resiliency of the Soldiers, Families, and Army Civilians that live and work here. Also, we could not have achieved this award without the support of all of our community partners."
The installation award is just one of several awards received at Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield. The 3rd Infantry Division was recently recognized for two accomplishments, said Task Force Marne Commander Brig. Gen. Jim Blackburn.
"When combined with the 3rd ID being the only division in the Army to meet our retention objective, and receiving a division-level safety award, this trifecta of awards is a powerful message that the strength of our community is truly the strength of the Army," he said.
The timing of the gold award could not have come at a better time; Stewart-Hunter celebrates 75 years of service to the nation this year.
"To receive the highest honor the Army can bestow on an installation this year, the year of our diamond jubilee, is an incredible convergence of events," Col. Gregory said. "Our installation has been defending our nation's freedoms since the 1940s, and it continues to project power wherever our nation calls today."
Stewart-Hunter began its journey toward excellence 17 years ago with the implementation of an installation strategic planning process whose sole focus is to provide a safe, secure and responsive community that enhances the installations ability to be the nation's premier power projection platform to meet national security objectives.
Simply put, all the planning and strategy translates into making Stewart-Hunter the Army's premier installation. The 3rd Infantry Division is pleased to call it and the surrounding area home, said Brig. Gen. Blackburn.
"We truly are 'The Southern Community Station of Choice,'" he said. "Together, with the support of our neighbors and the installation's hardworking team of Army Civilians, we've made the installation a home for our Soldiers and Families."
Following the 2012 win, the installation had to sit out two years in keeping with the Army's procedures on ACOE.