The award recognizes the efforts of those who operate and maintain military installations and who have best managed their resources to support the mission, said Dorothy Robyn, deputy undersecretary of defense for installations.
"Those being recognized today represent the finest achievements in installation support by our military -- accomplishing their mission while improving the quality of life for those who serve," Robyn said.
With military combat and humanitarian deployments under way across the globe, she said, "all of our installations are under extraordinary demands, which makes the accomplishments of our awardees all the more remarkable."
This year's awardees are: Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.; Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan; Hurlburt Field, Fla.; and Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin, Calif.
Robyn's predecessor, Wayne Arny, was the ceremony's keynote speaker. He added to Robyn's sentiments, citing that those who operate and maintain military installations strive to be the best at what they do, because of how much installations mean to servicemembers' families.
"They ensure the water's clean, the air is fresh, the roads are safe, and that the facilities are maintained to the highest degree possible, all while maintaining military readiness," he said.
Arny lauded the winners for pioneering groundbreaking methods to achieve mission goals, for being leaders in stewardship of natural and cultural resources and for improving cooperation within their local communities.
"You're developing and implementing best practices for improving quality of life for those living and working on or around your installation," Arny said. "Our defense organization is the best in the world, and our installations are the platforms from which America's military capabilities are generated, deployed and sustained."
Army Maj. Gen. Tony Cuculo, commanding general of Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, accepted the Army's award for his coastal Georgia community. Fort Stewart, he said, is more than just a duty to his soldiers; it's home to their fellow soldiers and their families.
"Home is where the Army sends you, but home is just a word to a soldier and his family unless there's a feeling of warmth, welcome and care behind it," Cuculo said. "It's not just the nice facilities and the manicured lawns, it's an attitude of service [and] a deep understanding of who is served."
President Ronald Reagan created the Commander's in Chief Annual Award for Installation Excellence in 1985. The Defense Logistics Agency was added to the competition in 1988. Award recipients receive a trophy, an "Installation Excellence" flag and a letter signed by President Barack Obama.