Redstone Arsenal, Al--You could say it's something out of the Army's past. Soldiers are taking care of their own gear. "We're going back to soldiers maintaining equipment because it is the right thing to do. In today's environment it is absolutely necessary that soldiers are able to perform that task," said CW5 Darren Cook, the Command Sergeant Major for the Army Materiel Command.
Soldiers got away from repairing and maintaining their own gear because of long years of being on a war footing. Contractors were available, and did the work. They don't do it now. "Because the soldiers are the users. They're the operators. They're the owners of this equipment and that is how we operate as a military," said CW5 Cook.
Chief Warrant Officer 5, Darren Cook joined the Army some 33 years ago, when soldiers always took care of their own gear. They had help then from PS Magazine, the Army's Preventive Maintenance Monthly. Befitting the times, the magazine has just now gone fully digital, and that's a big change. Something that hasn't changed at Redstone Arsenal's Army Materiel Command, is the knowledge that the gear soldiers use, has to be maintained so it will work as advertised. "Those are the folks that at the end of the day, the survivability of those folks will depend on the reliability of that equipment that they have," said CW5 Cook.
So, soldiers are safer because they are hands on, and...motivated. "I will tell you our soldiers are committed. They are deeply committed to that goal, and so as an American, and as a taxpayer myself, I'm extremely proud of that, and I think Americans should be proud of that as well," said AMC Command Chief Warrant Officer, CW5 Darren Cook.