FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Taking exceptional care of their buildings not only earned 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) a prestigious award but $60,000, which will likely allow them to install showers at an outdoor training where they spend days without being able to clean off lead and other contaminants from shooting.

Something the whole group will appreciate, said 1st Lt. Jared Sturgell, deputy 5th SFG (A) engineer.
Each year, the Directorate of Public Works Facility Maintenance Incentive Program awards thousands of dollars to three Fort Campbell units for taking excellent care of their facilities.

Colonel Jeremy Bell, garrison commander, helped hand out the awards Oct. 4.

"You are really the first line of defense on what we do on the facilities management program," Bell told the finalists who gathered at the Eagle Conference Room for check presentations.

He said while those who help maintain buildings may not be as highly visible as some, their individual attention and taking ownership of their facilities makes a big difference.

Second place and a $25,000 check was presented to 1st Brigade Combat Team and third place and a $10,000 check went to 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Specialist Nathaniel Martinez, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 5th SFG (A), is part of a team that maintains 74 buildings and more than 1.5 million square feet of the Legion footprint. He oversees about 64 people.

Although it was not an individual award, those with him credited Martinez with overseeing all the facility maintenance technicians and working with the DPW to keep things running smoothly and looking good.

"You're the key," Bell said to Martinez, as the group posed for pictures.

"Yes, sir," Martinez said.

"Thanks for what you do," Bell said. "Thanks for the personal effort and making a difference."

Martinez is the 5th SFG (A) facilities maintenance coordinator who oversees the technicians in his group and works with DPW to fix problems when there is an issue.

"I would say Spc. Martinez does a fantastic job usually filled by people of higher rank," Sturgell, said. "He is very competent."

Martinez, a carpentry and masonry specialist, grew up working on houses and has worked in construction and electrical fields before joining the Army.

His first active-duty assignment was 5th SFG (A).

"They handpicked me so I feel obligated, responsible for what's going on," he said.

In addition to working with the many technicians he oversees, Martinez does walkthroughs of buildings -- from barracks to the dining facility -- identifies deficiencies and tracks work orders to make sure problems are fixed.

When an air conditioner recently stopped working in a server room -- which must be kept cool -- Martinez discovered the problem quickly and worked with DPW to make sure workers could address the problems immediately.

Because of his quick action, Martinez headed off problems before they became serious issues.