Idea paves way for retirement

  • Published
  • By Laura Pellegrino
  • 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
One month from retirement, a 49th Civil Engineer Squadron airman received two $10,000 awards for his money-saving ideas.

Master Sgt. Marshall Carroll, horizontal-construction superintendent, received the awards for buying a paving machine and an asphalt zipper. He submitted his ideas using the Air Force’s Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program.

In the past, 49th CES officials hired a contractor to maintain the base’s roadways and parking lots. Carroll thought buying an asphalt zipper to tear up and recycle old pavement, and a paving machine to restore it, would save money. He was right.

The ideas will save the Air Force more than $9 million during the lifetime of the machines, said David Marsh, the 49th Fighter Wing manpower management analyst.

In its first year of use, the paving machine saved $690,870, Carroll said. The asphalt zipper will save $72,317. Reward bonuses are calculated at 15 percent of the first year’s savings up to $10,000.

“I’ll get about $7,300 after taxes (for the paver),” Carroll said. “It really sets me in a positive way.”

Carroll said he plans to pay off his motorcycle, credit card and his wife’s car. He was already planning to retire next month.

“After 21 years of service, it’s hard to go, but I’m glad I’m going out on a good note,” he said. “I can breathe a little bit easier.”

The IDEA program is open to Department of Defense employees. Contractors and nonappropriated-fund employees may apply, but cannot receive a monetary reward.

If the submitted idea saves the Air Force money, a reward is calculated based on the projected savings. If the idea does not directly save money but improves performance or helps in other intangible ways, the submitter gets $200.

Ideas saved the Air Force more than $42.3 million between Oct. 1 and March 31 Marsh said. More than $1.2 million in rewards was paid in the same time period. (Courtesy of Air Combat Command News Service)