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THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 2014  12:04:39 AM

1st Med Soldier honored as Army’s top pharmacy tech

Email   Print   Share By Staff Sgt. Jason Thompson, 13th SC(E) Public Affairs
January 9, 2014 | Living
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Capt. Norman Tuala presents Spc. Timothy Burnell, a 582nd Med. Log.Co., 61st MMB, 1st Med. Bdepharmacy technician, with a plaque at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, March 1, 2013. Photo by Spc. Timothy Burnell, 582nd MLC, 61st MMB, 1st Med. Bde.
The Larry C. Nesmith Enlisted Technician Award is a Department of the Army-level award presented annually to a Soldier who goes above and beyond their duties and responsibilities as a pharmacy technician.

Spc. Timothy Burnell, a pharmacy technician with 582nd Medical Logistics Company, 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, was presented with this award Dec. 11 at the 1st Med. Bde. Headquarters by Col. Bertram Providence, the brigade’s commander.

Burnell was recognized for his job performance during his unit’s recent deployment to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from June 2012 until March 2013, where he ran the only narcotics pharmacy vault in the country.

“For me, it didn’t feel like I was doing anything special. I was just there doing my job and doing what I was supposed to do,” Burnell said. “However, it was a special feeling to know that I was recognized above and beyond all the other pharmacy technician’s in the Army.”

During his time as the vault technician, Burnell implemented a new filing and tracking system, which effectively maintained 100 percent accountability of all prescription medications on hand.

In addition, he also established a recycling program that allowed units to turn in unused medications to be recycled through the military’s Pharmaceutical Returns Management Program that, Burnell said, enabled his unit to receive close to $1 million in return credits for reprocessed medications.

“Spc. Burnell is an exemplary Soldier that exceeded my expectations,” said Capt. Norman Tuala, a

pharmacist who served as Burnell’s officer-in-charge during the deployment. “While deployed together, I got to witness firsthand this Soldier’s work ethic, professionalism and dedication. He was willing to put in the long hours required as the only pharmacy vault custodian at the only medical logistics company in theater.

“I have had the pleasure of working with many Soldiers from different backgrounds and different experiences,” Tuala continued. “Spc. Burnell shines above them all with his attitude, dedication, passion and execution. This Soldier was able to persevere despite all the trials and tribulations that he has gone through, and for that I am extremely proud to have worked with him.”

In addition to his duties at the pharmacy vault, Burnell volunteered more than 200 hours during the deployment to assist the pharmacy technicians at the Heathe N. Craig Joint Theater Hospital on Bagram Airfield.

“While working with a medical logistics company, I don’t always have an opportunity to work in the pharmacy doing what I trained to do,” Burnell said. “It was a great opportunity for me to practice my skill and maintain my proficiency on the job.”

Burnell said it was an honor to receive the recognition and he is looking forward to an extended career in the Army as a pharmacy technician.

“For me, I hope the award will be a symbol for my future Soldiers,”

Burnell added. “As I move forward with my career and become a noncommissioned officer and leader, I’ll want to encourage other Soldiers to strive for excellence and motivate them to try to achieve this same recognition.”
 
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