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Would you stake your life, right now, on the condition of your equipment?
NEWS | April 4, 2023

I Sustain This: March 2023 Nominees

PS Magazine’s I Sustain This campaign is designed to recognize civilian sustainers who exemplify the highest standards while maintaining equipment to meet combat readiness requirements and stay in the fight, even under the most arduous of circumstances.
For Mar 2023, we had two civilian sustainers nominated for this program. They were Robert Hinkle of the TACOM Fleet Management Expansion (FMX) office, Fort Benning, GA; and Ryan Cowles of TACOM FMX office, Ordnance Division, North Range, Ft Lee, VA.
Spotlight Profile

Robert Hinkle, Small Arms Repair Technician, TACOM Fleet Management Expansion (FMX) office, Fort Benning, GA
Robert Hinkle
Small Arms Repair Technician
TACOM Fleet Management Expansion (FMX) office, Fort Benning, GA
Nominated by: Zachary DuBois

Why does this person deserve recognition? Mr. Hinkle has worked here at the FMX shop for four (4 )years and always makes a positive impact in every area of the organization. He has worked at the main repair shop servicing and repairing a multitude of firearms and equipment such as the M2A1, M2, M240, M249, M9, M17, M320, M4, M192, PVS7, etc. He has also supported range truck operations, assisting Warfighters during weapons training out on the ranges. He eagerly volunteered and moved to the Ranger Training Battalion Arms Room, supporting their weapon training maintenance needs. When new firearm satellite maintenance shops were placed in the 197th and 198th Basic Training Support Units, he again volunteered and was part of the first team to establish these sites and currently works at the 197th site. For these efforts, he has received numerous positive Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) comments from the command teams and soldiers he supports. He was also instrumental in identifying problems with M17 (when first fielded) in relation to the trigger not resetting by identifying the problem with the trigger bar; he shared his findings with PS Magazine who, in turn, forwarded the information to appropriate locations. This led to the identification of certain trigger bar replacements, which corrected the malfunction. Within the shop, he identified misinterpretation of code-out criteria for the M240B, which allowed proper identification of code-outs for this firearm and increased the readiness and safety for the Soldier. He also assisted in identifying improper maintenance procedures for the MK19 within the shop, which resulting in saving the organization approximately $80,000 and countless man hours for performing a maintenance procedure that was not authorized by the technical manual. More recently, he assisted in identifying improper maintenance procedures being followed for the headspace gaging of the M2A1 and conducted a presentation to the shop supervisor showing the discrepancies and explaining the proper procedure and stressing the importance of following the technical manual.

Additional Comments: Not only does Mr. Hinkle maintain and identify areas as outlined above, but he volunteers (not part of his job description or duties) to instruct Soldiers, NCOs (Instructors and Drill Sergeants) and commanders on proper maintenance procedures at the -10 level, both at the units' location and out on the ranges. Even while he is performing maintenance on firearms, he will see a soldier and ask if they want to learn a little more about the weapon and explain the function and maintenance a little further, which enhances the Soldier’s knowledge and self-confidence with the firearm. He is eager to assist his co-workers and encourages them to further their education which resulted in two co-workers completing an Associate of Science in Firearms Technology and two receiving Certificates in Firearms Technology-Gunsmithing. Not only does he encourage others, he also sets the example; he, too, completed training to gain a Certificate in Firearms Technology-Gunsmithing and is currently enrolled for an Associate of Science in Firearms Technology with a projected completion date of June 2023. During this annual evaluation cycle, Mr. Hinkle has completed over 1,808 job orders for the organization, consisting of 1,785 man hours for these services. Mr. Hinkle truly deserves to be recognized by PS Magazine's “I Sustain This" recognition program.
Also Nominated
Ryan Cowles, Heavy Mobile Technician, Recovery and Munitions Division TACOM Fleet Management Expansion (FMX) office, North Range, Ft Lee, VA
Ryan Cowles
Heavy Mobile Technician, Recovery and Munitions Division
TACOM Fleet Management Expansion (FMX) office, North Range, Ft Lee, VA
Nominated by: Kevin C. Peavy

Why does this person deserve recognition? Mr. Cowles, maintains the training base operational readiness fleet of M88A1, M88A2, M113A3, M1089A1, M1089A1P2, M1075A1, and M10000 Forklift. His meticulous attention to detail and superior maintenance knowledge enables North Range to execute organizational maintenance procedures to accomplish the critical objectives of no missed training, while maintaining readiness rates above 90 percent fully mission capable status, and adherence to funding goals allocations.

Additional Comments: As an additional duty, Mr. Cowles administers the North Range battery rejuvenation program, which ensures compliance with installation’s requirements for proper battery reutilization and disposal operations.
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