The 28th annual Fort Bragg Installation Awards ceremony was held Nov. 6 at the Iron Mike Conference Center. The event’s theme this year was “28 Years of Delivering Excellence and Changing Lives.”
Dubbed the “Fort Bragg Oscars,” nominees and their supporting departments from 13 award categories came together for an afternoon of recognition from the installation and celebration with colleagues. The event began with performances by Albritton Middle School Chorus and the 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus, followed by a luncheon and the awards program.
The biggest winners that afternoon were the Directorate of Human Resources (DHR) and Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR). Both directorates bagged four awards each. But the highlight of the awards show was the recipient of the lifetime achievement award, Ethel Nock from the Military Personnel Division, DHR.
“I was very shocked,” Nock said about the emotions that ran through her mind when her name was announced. “I just never thought I would ever win.”
Nock, who served in the Army for 26 years and retired a master sergeant, said her motivation to work hard in the civilian sector comes from her desire to help.
“I just love people; I love helping people and I get to work with Soldiers,” she said.
To qualify for the lifetime achievement award, nominees must have at least 25 years of service, according to Beth Bailey, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center human resources specialist. The purpose of the event, Bailey said, was to honor the accomplishments of those who work hard at Fort Bragg.
“Everyone does great things out here,” she said. “This is a time to celebrate all of those achievements.”
During the closing remarks, Maj. Gen. Brian J. McKiernan, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg deputy commanding general, said the awards ceremony was the highlight of his week.
“There are a lot of installations out there, and I’ve been on many of them, and I’m going to say this with all seriousness: I’ve never seen anybody do it better than this team here in terms of recognizing the contributions and the talent of our civilian workforce,” McKiernan said.
He added, sometimes the workforce in the civilian sector gets overlooked and too often underappreciated.
“As the acting senior commander, I can tell you with all sincerity that Fort Bragg, North Carolina does not work — will not work — without you (federal civilian employees) and your efforts,” he said. “You are the continuity. You are the marvelous set of professionals that knows what works and what doesn’t work, what to try and what not to try and I thank you for that.”