FORT HOOD, TEXAS – As if “America's First Team” did not already have enough “firsts” under their belt, Troopers Assigned to 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment “Sabers”, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team “GREYWOLFs”, 1st Cavalry Division, become the first armored unit in U.S. Army history to receive the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence (AAME), Fort Hood, Texas, Nov. 23, 2020.
Although the Saber squadron is receiving the AAME in 2020, the award is being presented for winning in the year of 2019. The AAME is an Army Chief of Staff level program that evaluates maintenance teams across the Army. Assessments of each unit in the categories of attitude and effective leadership are rated with a benchmark based on those of past winners, and the tenets of exceptional maintenance processes that were exhibited are validated and ranked.
“Its is fitting that we are presenting this award here in the motor pool, as the motor pool represents where readiness and lethality begin in an armored brigade combat team,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffery Broadwater, Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, who presented the AMME to Saber.
From operator to motor sergeant, each Trooper plays a vital role in the flow of maintenance operations, which is why Broadwater presented the award not only to the Saber battalion as a whole, but two random individual Troopers within the formation.
“There is a reason that I took those out there and gave them to the Soldiers,” said Broadwater. “It’s because of all your hard work and effort that we are out here to present these awards to this outstanding organization, so well done to each and every one of you.”
The AAME is much more than just a trophy to hold, it stands as a testament to the winning unit and the amount of time and effort they put into making sure their organization is ready to deploy and defend the United States if America at any given moment.
The program was established nearly 40 years ago in 1982, giving Major Army Commands even more incentive to create a well-crafted maintenance program as well as a way to recognize units who go the extra mile to ensure our Army is ready to fight whenever and wherever.
“This award highlights the Saber and GREYWOLF maintenance culture, the systems and processes of our maintenance and sustainment enterprise, and the attention to detail in all aspects of our maintenance operations that the leaders and Troopers here take on, on a daily basis,” said Lt. Col. Derek G. Drouin, Commander of the Saber battalion.
Typically, maintenance within the Army has been known to slow down operations and affect the readiness of units, but with Saber that is not the case.
“Most unit operational readiness (OR) rates decrease when the unit goes to the field,” said Drouin. “Just a few weeks ago, while this squadron was conducting gunnery, the OR rates actually increased!”
The Sabers ability to conduct maintenance ahead of time, even while in the field, is a true testimony to the effectiveness of their maintenance operations not only in the squadron, but in the GREYWOLF brigade, and the First Team as a whole.