Today, I want to take a few moments to educate you about the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence competition. This is a prestigious award designed to recognize military units for maintenance excellence. In the paragraphs below, I’m going to share a 10 things you should know about the program, so you have a better understanding about it.
# 1 The award was established by the Department of the Army in 1982, to recognize units and activities for maintenance.
# 2 Here is the mission statement for the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence (from the official AAME website):
- Improve and Sustain Readiness
- Provide positive incentives for extraordinary maintenance efforts.
- Improve Efficiency & Reduce Waste
- Encourage innovative use of existing management tools.
- Recognize Outstanding Maintenance Accomplishments & Initiatives
- Encourage Competition
- Provide a structure for recognition of units at all levels.
# 3 There are different categories for the award to include small (1-100 personnel), medium (101-300 personnel) and large (301+ personnel).
# 4 Active, USAR and ARNG units can participate in the AAME program and competition.
# 5 TDA and MTOE units are eligible.
# 6 The competition consists of two phases. The first phase includes a 20-page written narrative submission. A 12-member panel evaluates each profile and determines the semi-finalists. Once the semi-finalists are chosen, phase two begins with an onsite inspection from the inspection team. They evaluate the semi-finalists and determine the winners of the competition.
# 7 The areas of evaluation include readiness, maintenance management, maintenance training, leadership and innovative execution and unit book verification.
# 8 Winners are determined by their total weighted scores from phase one and phase two.
# 9 One of the best things about the program is that it encourages leaders to be actively involved in the maintenance program of their units. It also forces the units to closely review their SOPs and look for areas to improve upon.
# 10 Winners in each category are typically sent to Washington D.C. to receive the award.
During my time as a Company XO (2005) with the 729th Forward Support Battalion, I submitted the nomination packet for our company. We were not recognized as semi-finalists. That was a bit of a disappointment. However, the experience of putting the packet together and reviewing the our maintenance program in greater detail had an overall positive impact on our unit’rs readiness and morale.
The bottom line is that the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence is a great program designed to recognize Army units (in different categories) for maintenance excellence. As a small unit leader, you should submit your unit for the competition. It’s great for morale, readiness, and esprit de corps. Whether you end up winning the competition or not, your unit will be much better off because of the competition.
On a side note, if you have ever participated in the AAME competition, or served as an inspector, I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below to share your thoughts and experience.