LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe presented the National Guard Professional Education Center with the 2012 Governor's Quality Achievement Award, Sept. 24 at the Peabody Hotel.<br /> <br /> Commandant Col. Timothy Keasling accepted the award on behalf of more than 600 active duty soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, State of Arkansas Employees and contractors who provide critical training support to all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. PEC was recognized for systematic and notable processes through commitment and practice of quality principals to achieve performance excellence. <br /> <br /> “We are extremely honored to be selected for this award,” said Keasling. “It underscores the commitment that our people have to improving processes, services to National Guard organizations around the world and providing the best value for taxpayers.”<br /> <br /> Since the National Guard Bureau opened the doors of PEC at Camp Joseph T. Robinson in 1974, the school has trained more than half a million soldiers. In fiscal year 2012 alone, instructor teams trained more than 22,000 students through 86 courses offered at the school and mobile training teams. In addition, the distance learning program, Guard University, has produced approximately 16,800 graduates last fiscal year.<br /> <br /> According to Sue Weatter, executive director of the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence, only a handful of military organizations have been awarded the Governor's Quality Achievement Award since it was created 17 years ago. She said the evaluation process can be a valuable resource to all government agencies. <br /> <br /> "The transparency of a government organization allowing the very citizens it serves to assess its processes is to be commended," said Weatter. "PEC sets an example by using the assessment to improve and give greater return back to all citizens."<br /> <br /> The PEC campus is home to eight training centers: Human Resources and Readiness; Installation, Logistics and Environmental; Information Technology; Organizational Readiness; Resource Management; Strength Management; Education Support; and the GED Plus Program. <br /> <br /> Earlier this year, PEC began an ambitious campaign to earn an accreditation by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, which would transform PEC into the National Guard’s premier, accredited Training Center of Excellence by 2016. <br /> <br /> “As the Army transitions into a peacetime force, our mission at the Professional Education Center to enhance the National Guard’s readiness to fight, win and persevere across the broad spectrum of military operations has never been more important,” Keasling added.