WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk and Vernon Parish communities received the Department of the Army's 2018 Army Community Partnership Award Dec. 4 in a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Fort Polk Progress President Michael Reese, Fort Polk Garrison Commander Col. Jarrett A. Thomas II, Leesville Mayor Rick Allen, Rosepine Mayor Donna DuVall and Vernon Parish Police Jury President James Tuck were present to accept the award.
The installation is among the seven recognized for innovative partnerships with their surrounding communities that enhance Army readiness, improve Army processes and promote business reform, while strengthening community relations.
"This award is evidence of what Fort Polk and Vernon Parish are able to accomplish together," Reese said. "We are honored that the Department of Defense recognized all the benefits of these collaborations and the hard work put into making them happen."
Fort Polk was recognized for three partnerships with neighboring areas in Vernon Parish, Louisiana, which include:
* A partnership with the Vernon Parish Police Jury for Solid Waste Management, which allowed for the sorting of field waste from the rotational unit training mission.
* Working with the City of Leesville for grounds maintenance and tree removal services through a Vegetation Control Partnership.
* Partnering with the Town of Rosepine for Custodial Services, allowing the town's in-house staff to provide custodial services to the installation.
"We are grateful to the Vernon Parish Police Jury, City of Leesville and Town of Rosepine for their efforts toward these partnerships, which are improving not only Fort Polk, but also its soldiers, military family members and the people of Vernon Parish," Reese said.
Awardees were selected based on partnerships signed in the 2016-2018 fiscal years by garrisons, reserve centers and armories.
Partnership evaluation criteria for submissions included if it:
* Improves or enhances readiness
* Supports reform initiatives
* Modernizes a service, system or process
* Expands capability
* Improves soldier/family life or community relations