Fort Benning's biochemical test coordinator named best in Army
July 30, 2009
FORT BENNING, GA - For the third time this decade, Fort Benning's Army Substance Abuse Program has won the Army's Installation Biochemical Test Coordinator of the Year award.
SFC(R) Penny Carter, Fort Benning's biochemical test coordinator, received the trophy in a ceremony July 6 in Austin, Texas. Carter operates a forensically secure biochemical collection point on post serving 214 units and more than 40,000 active duty Soldiers, trainees, students and civilians.
Carter is also the primary instructor for the post's Unit Prevention Leader course, a 40-hour course training students in conducting urinalysis collections. Carter has trained nearly 400 prevention leaders since 2008. She teaches the "Super UPL" course to certify prevention leaders in deploying units to collect urine samples and ship them directly to a Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Lab.
COL Thomas Macdonald said more than 67,000 military specimens were processed through the collection point with a discrepancy rate of only 0.36 percent - well below the Army's standard of less than 3 percent.
"She is tenacious in her zeal to operate by the book," Macdonald said, in nominating her for the award. "(She) has demonstrated the ability to exceed what is normally expected to manage our Biological Collection Point. Through her efforts, Fort Benning commanders can have the tools they need to deter the use of illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol by their Soldiers."
Carter retired from the Army in 2000 after serving 20 years as a combat medic. In her final duty station at Great Lakes Naval Station, Ill., Carter was the medical Inspector General for 65 Military Entrance Processing Stations Armywide.
Prior to coming to Fort Benning, she worked in Tripler Army Hospital's Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Lab in Honolulu.
Carter came to Fort Benning as an assistant biochemical test coordinator in 2005.
"She goes beyond the scope of her duties. She lives and breathes this job," said Yvonne Wilbanks, chief of ASAP.
Wilbanks said the award shows what Fort Benning is doing to deter and combat drug abuse in the ranks.
"Drug use in a unit undermines morale and unit cohesion. Drugs are so deadly to families, Soldiers and units that it's vital we continue a strong drug abuse prevention program," Wilbanks said.