By Staff Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 41st Fires Bde. Public AffairsJanuary 12, 2012
FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers from Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade made a prediction last year, and it came true. Not only did the Black Knight Soldiers accomplish what many Soldiers only dream about, but they did it twice.
The battery was announced as the small unit category winner for the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence throughout the U.S. Army Forces Command. The Black Knight Soldiers beat out 26 other units in the small unit category to achieve the prestigious award for a second consecutive year.
The AAME provides incentive and recognition for units running outstanding maintenance programs throughout the Army.
"It feels good to have won the award again," 1st Lt. Cody Kness, executive officer for Btry. B, said. "It's good to get recognized for doing a good thing, but more importantly than that, it's good to know that we're doing the right thing. This award not only shows that we have a solid maintenance program, but it also gives overdue recognition (to) the Soldiers for their hard work."
Besides the almost endless packet of various maintenance records and reports that the unit had to put together for their submission, the unit will also be inspected on their vehicles, maintenance reports, NBC equipment, arms rooms and some logistical areas.
"When competing for the AAME, you have to be thorough with your records," 1st Lt. Leo Butler, maintenance officer for Btry. B, said. "It's all about honest and accurate reporting. Inspection teams will go out and check all of our equipment and balance that out with the corresponding maintenance records to see if everything is matching and up to date. The inspecting teams want to see if our maintenance program is being run according to standards."
III Corps will send inspection teams to the unit throughout January and the unit will receive the official inspection in February.
The Soldiers and leaders in the battery were happy to have won the award, along with the recognition, but most of them are celebrating more for having a successful maintenance program.
"We're going to continue to work hard and uphold the standards," Staff Sgt. Scott Coggins, motor sergeant for the combat repair team with Btry. B, said. "Leaders have to continue to uphold the standards so the Soldiers know what the standards are. If the Soldiers see their leaders working hard and setting the right example then they will continue to work hard. As leaders, we can't just sit around and point fingers. We have to be out there showing them what to do and how it needs to get done."
The Black Knights have proved themselves at the FORSCOM level and they are not planning on taking a break.
"It took a lot of work to get where we are now, but even though we've achieved the standard, we have to continue working hard to maintain it," Coggins said. "We're going to move forward with the same systems in place. However, our next milestone is the Phoenix Award, where we will compete against all branches of service. We've never made it that high, but this is a new year for great things to happen."