For the last 27 years the Fort Bragg Installation Awards has honored those individuals who have contributed to greatness of the Fort Bragg community.
“If you have never been to an event like this before, consider this the Oscars of Fort Bragg,” explained Iris Murray, Supervisory Human Resources Specialist, Fort Bragg Civilian Personnel Advisory Center. “You are nominated by your managers, by your peers, you don’t even know you’re being nominated.”
This year’s awards ceremony at the Iron Mike Conference Center was titled Celebrating a Community of Excellence.
Planners expected 500 attendees and when those numbers were exceeded on the day, organizers created additional tables to meet demand.
Anyone was welcome to attend, but lunch tickets were also available for purchase with choices of beef, chicken or vegetarian pasta.
The event began with the Albritton Middle School Chorus singing first the national anthem, and then a selection of songs. They were followed by the 82nd Airborne Division All American Chorus, and an invocation from acting garrison chaplain Lt. Col. Celestene Robb.
Awards categories included teams and individuals being recognized for a drive for diversity, efficiency, customer service, and employee of the year for General Schedule employees of all levels and a lifetime achievement award. Awards also were given for supervisor, office administrator and executive of the year.
Winners were announced and Maj. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, deputy commanding general, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Severino, XVIII Airborne Corps, Task Force Dragon, presented framed awards to winners in all 13 awards categories.
Organizations were seated together where possible and encouraged to cheer on the nominated individuals representing them.
“They cheer on, and we encourage them to bring the clappers and all the cowbells and all that,” said Murray.
Murray, who has organized this event for many years and will retire next month, said the event was bittersweet.
“For me, I will miss this ... because it is the one time a year that you see people being nominated that normally don’t get that recognition, or they only get it during performance time. This is where the whole installation has the opportunity to view you and see you through the eyes of the others who have nominated you,” she explained.
Murray said that for next year’s 28th annual event, she hopes to see more of the installation participating in the nominations and awards.
“It is an amazing event and all of the organizations on Fort Bragg did not participate and I encourage everyone to share in the joy,” advised Murray.