Today, I want to take a few moments and educate you about the DoD Phoenix award and trophy. If you’re like most military folks, you’ve probably never heard of this award before. Heck, I spent 15+ years in the Army and I never heard about it even once.
To keep things simple, the DoD Phoenix award is an award for maintenance excellence. Units in all branches of the service can compete for the award each year.
Listed below are a few things you should know about the award:
- It started in 1984
- Units’ receiving the award get to display it for one year, until the next winner is announced
- Each year, the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards Program recognizes outstanding achievements by field-level units engaged in military equipment and weapon system maintenance within the Department of Defense
- Six Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards are presented to units from small, medium, and large categories.
- From these six award winning units, one is singled out and selected as the best of the best, and presented with the Phoenix Trophy, the DoD’s highest award for maintenance
- The plaques presented to the award winning units and Phoenix Trophy are courtesy of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA)
- The Phoenix is a mythological bird that lived for approximately five centuries
Here is a short list of recent winners:
- 2009 – 1st Squadron, 3rd ACR, U.S. Army
- 2010 – Marine Corps’ Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 40 (MALS 40), 2nd Marine Air Wing, Cherry Point, N.C.
- 2011 – Marine Corps’ Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 1 (VMAQ-1) at Cherry Point, N.C.
- 2012 – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Seven Seven (HSM-77) from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
- 2013 – D Company, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Aviation Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, N.C.
As a small unit leader, or someone specializing in the maintenance or logistics field, this is a great award to compete for. Basically, your job as the leader is to create a great maintenance program in your unit and then complete a submission packet. If your unit is selected as one of the semi-finalists, the DoD will send a team to your unit to conduct an evaluation.
Whether you win or lose, competing for this award is a great way to recognize your Soldiers for going above and beyond. In addition to the Phoenix Award, you can also compete for the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence.
What are your thoughts? If you have any experience with the DoD Phoenix Award, please leave a comment below to share your thoughts, or share any tips you can give for units competing for this prestigious award. I look forward to hearing from you.