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NEWS | May 4, 2015

Ohio is overall winner in this year’s Army National Guard Army Communities of Excellence awards

By Staff Sgt. Michelle Gonzalez Diener, National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. – Ohio was the overall winner when this year’s Army National Guard Army Communities of Excellence awards were presented here April 29.

The Army National Guard recognized states and installations that best applied self-assessment and demonstrated process improvement in their organization during the annual awards ceremony held at the Army National Guard Readiness Center here.

“It’s about learning, improving and sharing,” Army Brig. Gen. James Wong, special assistant to the director of the Army National Guard, told ACOE awardees. “It’s about striving to be better leaders, better stewards of resources, and more responsive to our Soldiers and our customers. Your collective efforts have a strategic impact, both within the Army and across the Department of Defense.”

This year, 41 Army National Guard states and five U.S. Army Reserve commands took part in the ACOE program that helps states and installations build a culture of excellence and efficiency that support and serve the Total Force.

The Army-wide ACOE program uses the Baldrige Excellence Framework to improve efficiency and effectiveness in supporting Soldiers and customers. Malcolm Baldrige was Secretary of Commerce from 1981 until his 1987 accidental death. The framework, widely by businesses, hospitals, schools and nonprofits, is intended to foster performance excellence.

Wong charged the winners with a task: To share best practices with others. 

“Help your fellow states, territories and organizations be the best that they can be. Our Army National Guard will benefit as a result.”

Runners up included the Wisconsin Army National Guard, the Indiana Army National Guard and the Texas Army National Guard.

“Friendly competition is good,” said Army Maj. Gen. John Harris, assistant adjutant general to the Ohio Army National Guard, in reference to benchmarking practices between industry leaders and the military. “I think it’s important to remember that they’re also benchmarking from us. 

“We’re going to continue bringing every bit of efficiency and effectiveness to our systems as we can, because it really is about the warfighter, and they deserve that.”