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NEWS | Aug. 4, 2021

Joint Base MDL Pharmacist receives Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award

By Daniel Barney Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst congratulated Alan Farquharson, 87th Medical Group pharmacist, with the Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award for contributing twenty-eight years of service within the Joint Base MDL community.

Farquharson served as a pharmacist working at the same building on Joint Base MDL, from February 1993 to July 2021. Now as he prepares for retirement, Farquharson shares some of his experiences about being in a hybrid workforce of military and civilian workers.

“Back in 1993, I managed to find out about this job opening through a newspaper ad,” said Farquharson. “In the ad, it originally stated ‘Pharmacy job opening in the Pine Barrens,’ and I did not remember that the job posting mentioned anything about working for the U.S. Air Force or any other military branch. My prior experience working with active duty first responders, such as police officers and firefighters, prepared me to enter into a predominately militaristic environment. For someone, like I, who did not have a military background, I really liked working with the members of the military. It has been a truly unique experience.”

In addition, Farquharson explained how the 87th MDG facility used to have a workforce filled with civilian workers. As time progressed, he saw more Airmen being assigned to the facility, working in the career field. He believed that camaraderie and teamwork were the keys to accomplishing the mission. While praising the familial relationship between military and civilian personnel, Farquharson disclosed a certain obstacle that he faced before his co-workers came to help.

“Throughout my career on Joint Base MDL, technology in the medical field has been constantly evolving. That was always a challenge for me,” said Farquharson. “One time, there was a new computer system I had to use in order to perform my work assignments. My co-workers helped me on how to use the new computer system, along with the software, and they made the process easier for me to perform adequately on my job. The care and training that I received from my fellow Airmen and civilian employees were priceless.”

As Farquharson commended his co-workers for their hard work and dedication, Heather Scott, 87th MDG pharmacy technician and colleague to Farquharson, provided input about her experience working with him.

“Mr. Farquharson was a great pharmacist! He was always helpful when I needed assistance on various work assignments. He will be truly missed,” said Scott. “His presence not only provided me relief of stress from my job, but encouraged me to enhance my profession in this career industry. Plus, I will mostly miss him bringing in his baked cookies, pretzels, and pizza for us during lunch on occasion to show how much he appreciated our hard work.”

Farquharson says he was truly thankful to be a part of the Joint Base MDL community, and working on Joint Base MDL made him felt like a true asset to the workforce.