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The Official Baldrige Blog

11 Examples of How the Baldrige Excellence Framework Strengthens the U.S. Military

Baldrige program flag and American flag waving on steel pole against blue sky

The Baldrige Award flag is flown with the American flag outside NIST in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program on August 20, 2017.

Credit: BPEP

Did you know that the first federal organization to earn a Baldrige Award—the nation’s highest honor for U.S. organizations that achieve excellence—is a unit of the U.S. Army? That’s right: the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering (ARDEC; see profile in this PDF) won the Baldrige Award in 2007, a year after Congress passed legislation that extended award eligibility to U.S. nonprofit organizations.

The third Baldrige Award recipient among U.S. nonprofit organizations—one of seven in the sector to have earned the high distinction over the past decade—is also associated with the U.S. military. That organization, a unit of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that earned the Baldrige Award in 2009, is VA Cooperative Studies Program Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center (see profile in this PDF).

Below you can find links to blogs about those high-performing organizations, as well as others describing how U.S. military organizations have used the Baldrige framework to help them effectively and efficiently meet their missions to defend the nation. Listed in order of publication date, the following blogs describe merely a sampling of ways that organizations involved in the nation’s defense have benefited from use of the Baldrige Excellence Framework (which includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence).


1. Baldrige Principles Bring Organizational Change, Learning to National Guard (August 2017)

2. Using Baldrige to Support Our Military, Veterans (March 2017)

3. Focus on the 2016 Judges’ Panel: Major General John C. Harris, Jr. (August 2016)

4. More Value for Business Students: Application of Knowledge and Critical Thinking (August 2016)

5. A Baldrige Award Recipient Shares Leadership Practices That Support Operational Excellence (September 2015)

6. For Manufacturers, Baldrige Could be the “Cure” for Focusing on the Future (Part II; June 2015)

7. A Role-Model Government Center That Keeps Getting Better (September 2014)

8. Increasing Overall Performance in the Texas Army National Guard (January 2014)

9. Is Baldrige Worth the Investment? Let’s Start with the Military (June 2013)

10. "To Care For Him Who Shall Have Borne the Battle..." (March 2011)

11. How ARDEC Fields a Winning Team (June 2010)


The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is proud to have provided resources and services over the past decade that have supported high performance by these and many other organizations involved in the nation’s defense. 

About the author

Christine Schaefer

Christine Schaefer is a longtime staff member of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP). Her work has focused on producing BPEP publications and communications. She also has been highly involved in the Baldrige Award process, Baldrige examiner training, and other offerings of the program.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was an Echols Scholar and a double major, receiving highest distinction for her thesis in the interdisciplinary Political & Social Thought Program. She also has a master's degree from Georgetown University, where her studies and thesis focused on social and public policy issues. 

When not working, she sits in traffic in one of the most congested regions of the country, receives consolation from her rescued beagles, writes poetry, practices hot yoga, and tries to cultivate a foundation for three kids to direct their own lifelong learning (and to PLEASE STOP YELLING at each other—after all, we'll never end wars if we can't even make peace at home!).

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