MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga --
During routine maintenance of a Light Armored Vehicle-25, Staff Sgt. Ty Cotton realized a common problem that lines from the fuel tank leading to the personnel heater leak could cause a safety hazard. Rather than stand by and allow the problem to persist, Cotton decided to do something about it.
Cotton, currently assigned to Program Management, LAV, Marine Corps Systems Command, used the Beneficial Suggestion Program to voice his concerns. He found that a shut-off valve could be used during servicing that would be safer and more convenient. The valve would be connected to the fire wall next to the heater. Marines could then operate the vehicle without risking a fuel leak, and maintenance crews would be safer.
Cotton received a $500 cash award for his recommendation.
“This was always a problem when the heater broke down,” Cotton said. “We had to dead line the vehicle because there was no way to shut off the fuel. It was never really a safe thing to do. There is actually a proper procedure now for being able to continue to use the vehicle without having to basically do an illegal maintenance action, because that’s what it was.”
Cotton’s suggestion was supported by leaders throughout the Marine Corps’ maintenance community, and his idea is expected to be implemented in all LAV units.
“The trend is definitely there to suggest that adding a cut-off valve or quick disconnect to the heater fuel line would add value to not only the safety aspect, but also the environment/hazmat impact of dealing with the spilled fuel,” said one reviewer.
Another added, “It was confirmed that a fuel leak is a present issue and possesses a safety issue to the crew.
For Cotton, it was never about the money. He didn’t even realize he would receive an award until the check arrived in the mail.
“It’s always nice to get a little extra, but I really didn’t care,” he said. “I wanted to see if the idea was worthy of being improved and implemented. That was more of the goal.
“It’s what the Marine Corps mission is all about; continuing the fight, and this idea helps us keep going,” Cotton added.
The Beneficial Suggestion Program is a mechanism for all Marine Corps active duty and Department of Defense civilian employees to recommend improvements to the Corps’ processes and operations.
It’s an opportunity for suggesters to help their fellow Marines and the potential to earn up to $25,000 for suggestions that are adopted.
The program is currently administered by the Business Management Division within the Logistics Capabilities Center at Marine Corps Logistics Command.
To learn more about the program, or to submit a suggestion, visit the website, http://www.logcom.usmc.mil/benesuggs/.
For security purposes, the website’s access is limited to those persons with common access cards.