By 2nd Lt. Brian Baier, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment unit public affairs representative

FORT BENNING, Ga. - On March 24, 2014, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, received the second runner-up Award for Maintenance Excellence, MTOE, Large Category for fiscal year 2012.

The Army Award for Maintenance Excellence (AAME) is an award well-known within maintenance sections throughout the Army.

The AAME is awarded to those who display an expertise and professionalism in performing assigned tasks. It was established by the Department of the Army in 1982 to recognize exceptional accomplishment in maintenance and provide an added incentive to the competitive programs of major Army command.

The AAME is categorized by the number of personnel a unit is assigned (small, medium, or large) and also by component, including active duty, Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.

Brig. Gen. Peter Jones, deputy commanding general - support (DCG-S) for 3rd ID, stood before the Soldiers of the mighty Blackhawk Squadron to congratulate them on a job well-done. He told them to be proud of what they have accomplished and encouraged them to continue the actions that earned them recognition for their excellence.

A large amount of credit for the award went to Sgt. 1st Class Scott Mellick, the squadron's maintenance sergeant and native of St. Louis, and 1st Lt. Thomas Malazarte, the squadron's maintenance officer from Bowling Green, Ky.

Although there were only two Soldiers recognized in front of the squadron during the award presentation, it was a team effort to get everything accomplished that needed to be accomplished to earn this award, said Lt. Col. Paul Gunnison, the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment commander.

Lt. Col. Andrew Hilmes, the former squadron commander, was also in attendance and congratulated the squadron on being recognized for all of the hard work they had put in.

"I want to thank Maj. Sawyer for [the] help, support and guidance he gave to me in order for us to just be able to submit our application." said Malazarte.

Maj. Timothy Sawyer was the squadron's executive officer at the time of the award process.