What Right Looks Like: Making Positive Suggestions

Jan. 9, 2012

Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, U.S. Army Europe Commanding General

USAREUR Teammates,

"Necessity is the mother of invention," said Greek philosopher Plato.  Translated into modern speak, he might have said: "The challenging budget situations we face should inspire adaptive and ingenious solutions from smart Soldiers in USAREUR!"  At least that's the way I would translate it.

Given our Army's emphasis on making the most of every taxpayer dollar and finding ways to do things faster, smaller, smarter, cheaper and better in the face of declining resources, there is probably no more fitting phrase right now.

Everyone of us has an important role to help our Army increase efficiencies or improve our foxhole. Everyone in our Army should be looking for -- and rewarding -- innovative ways to stretch our dollars and take cost savings and cost avoidance measures.  Even while we're asked to maintain a well trained force, our partnering with allies, and our Army Family Covenant.

Given all this, I want to challenge every Soldier, civilian and local national employee to look for wayts to contribute and become more efficient, while we look for ways to become more effective.  I've recently asked IMCOM-E to "dust off" advertising the Army Suggestion Program (ASP) -- which, when used, has always been a great program to encourages Soldiers and employees to submit ideas to save money -- as a way for all of us to contribute.

As a reminder, the ASP program seeks suggestions which improve work methods, materials, processes, equipment, logistics, utilities, or tools that will benefit the Army. If recommendations are accepted, Soldiers, civilians and local national employees are awarded big bucks when submitting ideas on how we can do things better, with a cost savings.  The more money potentially saved, the larger the potential award to the person who made the recommendation...up to $25,000!  That's pretty good, and I have actually seen Soldiers receive that amount of money for great suggestions.

It's easier now than it's ever been to make a suggestion.  All someone has to do is click on https://armysuggestions.army.mil <https://armysuggestions.army.mil>.  Anyone with an AKO account or a CAC card is eligible; however, not everyone is eligible for cash awards.  If an idea from a person not eligible for a cash award is adopted, I will personally present a non-cash recognition.

Good organization are those where everyone contributes.  It's tough for leaders to only hear about what's going wrong, or how things are screwed up.  I'm asking all of USAREUR to help find solutions that make us more effective, and more efficient. In doing that, we'll help the Army and the Department of Defense during a tough period of budget constraints...and that's what right looks like.