Aerospace Maintenance Competition
Last week, I was in Miami attending the MRO Americas trade show. As part of the show, I witnessed competitors from around the world compete in the Aerospace Maintenance Competition. There were 39 teams competing in 20 different events to see who was the best of the best. Our May issue of D.O.M. magazine will have an article on the highlights of the event including the winners of the different categories.
I was impressed by the camaraderie displayed by the teams. Although they were competing against each other, they spent time getting to know each other and formed friendships I’m sure will last a long time.
Snap-on and other sponsors provided prizes for the winners in each category. It upset me that because of some bureaucratic red tape, none of the military participants were allowed to accept prizes. In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard team paid its own way into the competition!
Although nothing could be done to get around the arcane rule forbidding the military members from accepting prizes, there was a nice gesture by the team that won the competition. You see, each year the team that wins the overall award gets its entry fee paid for next year’s competition. This year, the winning team (read the next issue of D.O.M. to find out who that was) donated its entry fee to the U.S. Coast Guard so they can return next year without worrying about paying out of their own pockets!
I plan on writing letters to my Senators and Representatives letting them know how ludicrous the rule forbidding military members from accepting prizes is. They worked just as hard as everyone else, and were proud to represent their respective military branches. Sure, a law may be in place to forbid government employees (including military members) from accepting gifts from vendors and contractors, and for a good reason. But these weren’t gifts – they were hard-earned prizes. Something has to change!
I know my letter may not make a difference by itself, but I am going to write it anyway.
I wonder … what would happen if we ALL wrote letters expressing our displeasure with this rule? Do you think we could make a difference? I believe it’s worth a shot!
Thanks for reading!