Monday maintenance is the start of the week for most Army units in the force, when units set aside the first day of the week to devote themselves to the task. It is such a programmed part of the routine that many soldiers plan their schedules around the time it takes to complete their preventive maintenance tasks.
For a unit, maintenance is more than a one-day event, it is one of the primary goals of all soldiers in the organization. 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division distinguished themselves by winning the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence on Monday.
The AAME, created in 1982, is awarded each year to reward exceptional achievements in maintenance, as evidenced by the 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Reg.
“Imagine having the best car dealership in the world,” said Lt. Dillon Shaw, the battalion’s maintenance officer. “That’s really what it translates to in the civilian world.”
The competition is divided into three categories, small, medium and large, which are based on the number of employees in that specific category. The unit competed in over 300 major categories.
Six units across the branches of service, which include the Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marines, were named the best.
“We were one of the six who were named the best,” Shaw said. “It’s really huge. Imagine having a dealership here in central Texas that is the best dealership in the United States.
This award could not have been won without the tireless efforts of every soldier within the entire brigade.
“This is a great time in our Forward Support Company which is attached to the 215th Brigade Support Battalion,” said Shaw. “They helped out with maintenance, like the Bradley mechanics, the tank mechanics.”
This award was created to provide an additional incentive for the competitive agendas of major commands. The commander’s influence and participation in his program were critical to its success.
“Every Monday when we do a battalion formation in the fleet, the battalion commander is over there in coveralls and does the maintenance,” Shaw said. “It sets a standard for company commanders and when your soldiers see that presence, it gives them buy-in to their platform. “
The battalion has 294 pieces of rolling stock, that is, anything that has wheels, as well as 4,995 pieces of equipment that requires maintenance.
“I am extremely proud that the battalion won this award, but what gives it special meaning is that we are a combined arms battalion,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas Sinclair, commander of 3rd Bn, 8th Cav. Regt., Explained. “We have been deployed eight times, with or without some of our equipment. We have 12 different vehicle families, many of which require a lot of attention.
Maintenance is the commander’s program and is a priority among the command team at 3-8 Cav.
“For the battalion, winning this award is honestly a unit award,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Nicholas Sinclair, battalion commander. “There’s no way a person can do it on their own. It has to be something that permeates the entire organization at all levels and it represents pride in myself and down to the newest soldier.