Air Force program rewards ingenuity

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Do you think outside the box?

Does hearing the phrase "Because that's the way we've always done it" make the veins in your neck pop out?

If so, the Air Force may have up to a $10,000 check for you.

The Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program, or IDEA, rewards military and civilian employees for ideas which enhance processes, improve productivity and efficiency; or improve safety. Awards range from $200 to $10,000.
The Air Force saved $54 million through IDEA innovations on base last year, said Renee Beringer, IDEA program manager at Robins.

"Even so, I feel like the IDEA program is not being fully utilized," she said. "There are so many more process improvements which could be submitted."

Beringer said there is a misconception the program applies only to the maintenance area, but it extends to all military and civilian employees on base.

There is also a misconception, she said, the IDEA program does not apply to improvements within the employee's normal work area.

Validating an idea can be a lengthy process, Beringer admitted. "But if you are patient, it could be up to a $10,000 award," she said.

Information on the IDEA program can also be found on the Air Force Portal under Top Portal Links or the Robins Home Page under Special Interest.

Anyone interested in submitting an IDEA can contact Beringer at