PYONGTAEK, South Korea — The U.S. Army has chosen three of its South Korea-based units as having the best community relations programs in the Army, officials said Friday.

The Army’s Area IV Support Activity in Taegu tied for first place with 8th U.S. Army headquarters in Seoul for Department of the Army Community Relations Excellence Awards. The 55th Military Police Company in Seoul took third place.

Pak Chong-gu, community relations officer for the Area IV Support Activity at Camp Carroll, took third place in the individual accomplishment category.

The awards recognize the best of the Army’s community relations initiatives in three categories: individual accomplishment, ongoing programs and special events. All three South Korea units won in the “program” category.

Both the Area IV Support Activity and 8th Army won for their Good Neighbor Program efforts. Established in 2003 by the U.S. military command in South Korea, the Good Neighbor Program requires U.S. military units on the peninsula, regardless of service branch, to take vigorous measures to foster good relations with the South Korean public.

Area IV’s Good Neighbor efforts have included hosting on-base visits by South Korean groups including youngsters and university students, sporting and social events between U.S. and South Korean military units and servicemember volunteers holding English conversation sessions in South Korean schools.

The support activity is part of the Installation Management Agency-Korea Region Office in Seoul. It’s responsible for day-to-day management and upkeep of Army installations between Taejon and Pusan, including Camps Carroll, Hialeah, Henry, Walker and George.

The 55th Military Police company won for a relationship it maintains with the South Korean Army’s 2nd Corps Military Police Company, and for its support of a local nursing home. Unit members visit the home at least twice monthly and “plant, clean, and otherwise help out,” an 8th Army spokeswoman said.

Pak’s commitment to mounting Good Neighbor events was key to his winning an award, said Kevin Jackson, Area IV Support Activity public affairs chief. “He’s executed his programs of his own initiative,” said Jackson. “He executed excellent programs and he’d done a particularly good job of reaching out to the university and high school students in the Waegwan-Chilgok County area. He’s just an exceptional employee and we’re fortunate to have him on our team.”

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