- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Fort Knox Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation has nabbed three awards identifying it as the national standard in U.S. Army recreation programs.
MWR received the Garrison Recreation Award for large installations in the Atlantic region, which qualified it to compete against and defeat roughly 37 other garrisons for the Army-level award for 2012. Mark Wicker, chief of the Community Recreation Division, said MWR won the award in 2006 and 2008 and won the regional award in 2011.
The regional and Army-level recreation awards were chosen by U.S. Army Installation Manage-ment Command, the higher headquarters for Army garrisons.
“We have the best MWR program in the entire Army,” said Media Relations Officer Kyle Hodges.
The MWR also captured an individual award at the regional level when Matt Enoch, community program coordinator, was named Garrison Recreation employee of the year.
Director Randy Moore said the awards are possible because MWR has a “forward-thinking, cutting edge” approach lauded throughout the Army and held up as a benchmark for other installations to emulate.
Moore said MWR is reactive to the desires of soldiers and their families and proactive in develop-ing desirable and needed programming on post by attracting popular, trending entertainment.
As part of the criteria for the awards, MWR had to submit information on its strategic planning process, marketing methods, decision making and evaluation process for programming, fiscal respon-sibility and facility improvements and projects to modernize the post.
Wicker said Fort Knox has developed its own recreation delivery system to distribute programming to the public, such as festivals and concerts. MWR also designed its own evaluation tool to gather direct feedback from guests after programs to gauge customer satisfaction, benefits gained from the experience and what type of programming they want to see in the future.
Enoch said MWR utilizes social media networks, focus groups and community surveys as avenues to converse with soldiers and their families. Enoch developed the evaluation tool used by Fort Knox and has been a leader in establishing several programs, which aided him in winning the individual award.
“Those kinds of tools and surveys help us use the limited resources we have,” Wicker said.
When asked about specific programming, MWR officials highlighted programs benefiting soldiers and their families, including for spouses of deployed soldiers that offers discounts and child care at some MWR events and organizes special trips for spouses to help them adjust to life without their significant other. The program won an excellence in military recreation award from the National Parks and Recreation Association, Wicker said.
MWR was instrumental, too, in many of the recent welcome-home ceremonies and pairs redeployed soldiers with high adventure outdoor activities, such as rock climbing or skiing, to assist them in their assimilation to civilian after fighting in an intense and dangerous environment.
Enoch said the Army-wide initiative has reduced the likelihood of soldier injury or death in participating soldiers.
“It builds camaraderie,” Enoch said.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.