May 7, 2010 - The Wisconsin Army National Guard continues its record of top finishes in the Army Communities of Excellence awards competition.
"We have a very fine quality organization, and being consistently recognized at the Bureau level means that our organization is not stagnant," said Brig. Gen. Mark Anderson, commander of the Wisconsin Army National Guard. "It really is, top to bottom, all the men and women who make up the Wisconsin Army National Guard. It's not just one individual. Every Soldier in our organization has equal value - we just shoulder different levels of responsibility."
The Wisconsin Army National Guard won a Silver Second Place finish this year, sixth in the Army National Guard. The state earned a Gold Third Place award last year (fourth overall), and a Silver 1st Place award (fifth overall) in 2008.
The ACOE Awards follow a 12-month evaluation in which Army, National Guard and Reserve installations are judged against Army priorities and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program criteria. Participants are not judged against each other. The assessment considers the overall quality of military environment, facilities and services.
Anderson said the ACOE award provides Wisconsin Army Guard leadership with an understanding of the organization's direction.
"It's a system of processes that allows an organization to look at itself in a critical way, which leads to a better organization overall," he explained. "It reinforces our ability to look at ourselves and improve."
The Minnesota Army National Guard was the overall winner under a category dedicated to the National Guard, and will receive a $400,000 cash prize. The Texas Army National Guard was named first place winner in the Gold Category, followed by Georgia and Iowa. The Arkansas Army National Guard finished ahead of Wisconsin in the Silver category.
The Wisconsin Army National Guard also received a monetary award for its finish. Anderson said that these funds are applied toward tangible benefits for Soldiers, such as new fitness equipment and machines for individual armories.
"I'm confident we have Soldiers who do not realize we are active in ACOE, but realize the benefits from it," Anderson said.
Anderson accepted the award on behalf of Brig. Gen. Don Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin, during a Monday (May 3) ceremony at National Guard Bureau.