Sierra Vista designated as a Great American Defense Community

The Association of Defense Communities has designated Sierra Vista as a member of the Great American Defense Communities Class of 2017.

“Our community has always supported and welcomed the soldiers and families who call Fort Huachuca home. It’s just part of who we are,” Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Mueller says. “This honor celebrates the efforts of the entire Sierra Vista community and the many local organizations that ensure our service members and their families have all their needs met.”

The Great American Defense Communities program recognizes the overall support communities and regions provide to soldiers and their families. Its criteria include community building and integration, support and collaboration, educational and employment opportunities, and family support. The ADC announced the eight Great American Defense Communities of 2017 on Wednesday afternoon.

“The City and Fort Huachuca have partnered on a joint-use airport, an innovative agreement to share library services, and many other projects and services over the years,” City Manager Chuck Potucek says. “But this honor also reflects the work of other organizations and the culture of the community, which includes many veterans.”

Programs and services at Cochise College and Canyon Vista Medical Center designed to serve Fort Huachuca, its families, and local veterans bolstered the City’s application for this designation. The Fort Huachuca 50’s key role in supporting the post and its military missions was also highlighted in the application.

“We are thrilled that Sierra Vista, Arizona, was selected as a Great American Defense Community. Fort Huachuca is fortunate to have such a strong and committed partner,” Fort Huachuca Garrison Commander Col. James Wright says. “For decades, our soldiers and families have been welcomed into the community with open arms. Sierra Vista’s pride in the fort’s unique contributions to our nation’s defense is readily apparent to all who serve here.”

A history of excellence
The close partnership between Fort Huachuca and the City of Sierra Vista was highlighted last year when the City earned the ADC’s Community Excellence Award.

Fort Huachuca itself was recognized by the ADC in 2012, when it was named the Installation of the Year. Lastly, Tom Hessler received the ADC Leadership Award in 2006, when he was serving as the mayor of Sierra Vista.