Safety suggestion earns III Corps Soldier $500
Fort Hood Garrison Commander Col. Tori Bruzese presents a certificate and check for $500 to Staff Sgt. Russell Martin Feb. 1 at III Corps headquarters. Martin received $500 through the Army Suggestion Program in recognition of his suggestion to install a protective safety shield on hydrolic truck lifts to prevent accidental oil burns should the hydrolic lines burst. Photo by Mollie Miller, Sentinel Staff

A III Corps Soldier intent on making Army motorpools safer places to work was rewarded for his efforts Feb. 1 with a check for $500 presented by Fort Hood garrison commander Col. Tori Bruzese.

Staff Sgt. Russell Martin, headquarters and headquarters company, III Corps, submitted a suggestion to the United States Army Suggestion Program to add a cover to hydraulic truck lifts to protect operators from oil burns and injuries in case of accidental line snaps. The facilitators of the suggestion program evaluated Martin’s idea, determined it to be a good one, and, based on the suggestion’s potential benefits, awarded him $500.

“I am always looking for ways to improve my work environment and cut costs,” the light-wheeled vehicle mechanic said. “My focus is on taking care of the force, on taking care of Soldiers.”

Bruzese congratulated Martin on his effort to take care of his fellow Soldiers.

“The reason I wanted to make a big deal of this is because you took the time and the initiative to do something that will keep people safe,” she said shaking Martin’s hands.

The mission of the Army suggestion program, according to its Web site, is to encourage Soldiers and civilians to submit ideas that increase the efficiency and productivity of the Army. The Web site further notes that the program provides cash award incentives up to $25,000 for adopted ideas that save government resources.

Martin’s most recent award is his seventh $500 award in 10 years of submitting suggestions to the program.

“I go into work everyday and ask myself how I can improve what I am doing right now,” Martin said. “I am always trying to improve my job, cut costs and make the wheels go a little faster.”

Martin said he always encourages other Soldiers to submit their ideas to the Army Suggestion Program no matter how crazy they think their idea might be.

“If we can do something better, faster and easier without injury, then we should do it,” he said.

Bruzese echoed Martin’s suggestion and encouraged the Fort Hood team to use the suggestion program whenever they saw a way to make something better.

“The suggestion program … allows Soldiers to help make the Army a safer place,” she said. “If you have a suggestion and you are sitting there saying ‘this could be better,’ let us know.”

To submit an idea to the United States Army Suggestion Program, visit For more information about the program on Fort Hood, call program coordinator Eloise Soliz at 287-4332.