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The Department of Defense has selected Fort Drum as one of five recipients of the 2020 Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence. The award recognizes the outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations, and are selected for their exemplary support of DoD missions. (Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs photos)


Fort Drum earns 2020 Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence


Mike Strasser

Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs


Fort Drum sign - wb.jpgFORT DRUM, N.Y. (Aug. 26, 2020) – Fort Drum is known for achieving excellence in all areas of installation management – whether it’s enhancing the quality of life, being responsible environmental stewards or improving efficiency and morale in the workforce.

The Department of Defense has recognized these efforts by naming Fort Drum a winner of the 2020 Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence.

“When we receive an honor such as this, it is a reflection of our entire installation and the community as a whole,” said Col. Jeffery Lucas, Fort Drum garrison commander. “Everyone contributes – our civilian workforce, leaders, Soldiers, family members, and volunteers. It is a collective effort, and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone who lives and works at Fort Drum.”

The Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence recognizes the outstanding and innovative performances of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations.

Award nominees were selected based on performance criteria such as mission support, energy and environment, unit morale, safety and health, communications, and security.

Fort Drum achieved key milestones in energy resiliency, to include 100-percent renewable energy sustainability, two-power-source redundancy and 14-day generator capacity. The post saved $1.9 million by establishing an After-Action Review facility within a repurposed furniture store and food court, using Public Works personnel on the project instead of contracting the work.

Additionally, solar walls installed at 53 facilities project an annual natural gas savings of $32,000 and the Fort Drum Recycling Program reused 215,000 gallons of oil and 8,000 gallons of antifreeze.

Among the quality-of-life initiatives, a “Spouses Welcome” event was established to help acclimate new community members to Fort Drum, and the Military Family Life Consultant (MFLC) program provides confidential, non-medical counseling services for Soldiers and family members.

Fort Drum also implemented innovative programs and best practices to develop Soldier and civilian leaders, such as Team Member Orientation, LEADER Program, Teamwork and Respect Unit Strength Training (TRUST), and a hands-on Supervisor Development Course.

“Fort Drum is often referred to as ‘The Army’s Best Kept Secret,’ though we would prefer that everyone knows just how truly remarkable it is,” Lucas said. “In addition to supporting the readiness of one of the Army’s most deployed divisions, we are effectively a joint regional training center for the entire Northeast. Fort Drum is truly a wonderful place to live and work.”

The selection process also considers previous award recognition. In 2019, Fort Drum was the recipient of the Army Partnership Award and the Secretary of the Army Environmental Award (for environmental restoration), was named a Great American Defense Community and received honorable mention as an Army Community of Excellence.

According to the DoD press release, each of the winning installations will receive a commemorative trophy and flag, and a congratulatory letter from the president.