Army Suggestion Program offers cash for ideas

U.S. Army Europe Soldiers and civilian employees can be awarded up to $25,000 by submitting their ideas to improve the Army through the Army Suggestion Program.

Soldiers, U.S. federal employees and local national civilian employees who are paid from appropriated funds are eligible to take part in the program, said Joseph “J.D.” Jerdee, the Level 2 ASP actions coordinator for Installation Management Command Europe.

“The Army Suggestion Program is a program that encourages Soldiers, civilians, and any concerned individual to submit ideas that will result in increased efficiencies and reduced costs,” Jerdee said.

Although the Army established the program in 1943, this could be a good time to take advantage of it because of the current emphasis on cost savings within the Department of Defense and the Army. For example, the DoD finished accepting suggestions Sept. 24 from across the services — nearly 15,000 of them — that are eligible for cash awards under its INVEST cost-savings initiative.

According to the ASP website, all suggestions submitted through the program must benefit the Army or other U.S. government activities by identifying a problem and recommending a solution for it.

“Suggestions follow a review and approval process based on the level of the suggestion. In other words, if the suggestion is specific to the installation, it can be reviewed and approved or disapproved at that level,” said Jerdee. “Ideas that require higher-level review for approval are forwarded through the system to the appropriate level.”

If a suggestion is approved and implemented by the Army, an assessment is made to determine how much the initiative saves the Army.  Depending on the amount saved, “suggesters” can earn up to $25,000 for their ideas. Individuals who are not eligible for cash awards may still be able to make suggestions and could receive a plaque or certificate for their ideas.

Army Regulation 5-17 (The Army Ideas for Excellence Program) outlines how that process works, who is eligible for cash awards for approved suggestions and how cash awards are determined. According to that regulation, the money is paid after final approval is granted, and comes from the appropriated funds of the individual’s unit or organization. More information about determining cash awards can be found in AR 5-17, Table 5-1.

The program is ongoing, and suggestions can be made at any time. For more information, or to submit an idea, visit the ASP website at (available to Army Knowledge Online registered users only).

In U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, suggestions can also be submitted to the garrison ASP coordinator, Joel Carnahan, by calling 431-3289/civ. 07031-15-3289, or e-mailing