The 1073rd Maintenance Company, Michigan Army National Guard, based in Greenville, Mich., has been selected by the Department of the Army as one of three finalists in the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence—the most prestigious award in the military maintenance community. Officials selected by the Department of Defense inspect everything from the weapons—to vehicles—to generators—to OSHA required material support data sheets, just about everything “inspect-able” at the Greenville Armory. The 1073rd knows how stiff the competition is—last year they were a strong competitor and the company was selected for a second place award, which in itself is a huge accomplishment.
The 1073rd is competing in the medium-sized Military Table of Organization and Equipment category (units with 101 to 300 Soldiers) for the fiscal year 2013 AAME. So far, the 1073rd has won first place at the state level competition, the regional level competition, and at the National Guard Bureau (54 states and territories) level competition. This final inspection determines the winner of the Department of the Army level competition (Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard). If the 1073rd wins this competition, they will represent the Department of the Army and compete against the Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.
The 1073rd company commander, Capt. Daniel Daugherty, of Grand Junction, Mich., has subject matter experts who represent his unit well. One of his many SMEs is Private 1st Class Joshua Radzwion, of North Branch, Mich., who is OSHA trained in hazardous material from his civilian job and is a small arms repairman and arms room manager for the 1073rd. While performing preventive maintenance checks and service on the M40-A1 series gas masks with 1073rd Soldier, Spc. Matthew Dawson, the DoD inspector asked random questions to learn if any chemicals were stored in the room with the masks and seemed surprised at Radzwion’s broad knowledge about hazardous material.
According to the 1073rd senior military leaders, there are many benefits which come from preparing for the competition.
“The award is not just about maintenance but also about the quality of life for our members,” stated Daugherty.
As company commander, Daugherty sees the significance the competition brings through members’ awareness of the organization. The competition creates an innovative atmosphere and spurs healthy internal competition within the company and motivates everyone to be and do their best.
The results of the competition will be announced May 2014. The AAME preparation is a morale builder and “force multiplier” so according to Daugherty, either way, the 1073rd Maintenance Company wins.
Story and photos by Master Sgt. Denice Rankin, Michigan National Guard Public Affairs